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Respiratory illness, pityroasis rosea, pain in the neck and throat. Prescribed prilosec. Can this be throat cancer?

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ENT Specialist
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I was sick with a horrible upper respitory illness in January. Got over it but shortly after broke out with a rash which doc said was pityroasis rosea (sp.). It went away but ever since I was sick I had this on and off feeling of something stuck in my throat, sometimes pain in the right side of my neck and right ear. Had all my normal blood work ran (as I have a physical every year) all came back normal. It would not go away so went back again and he said I probably had blocked eustacian tubes so gave me antibiotics (didn't help). Went to a different doc and he said the same thing about either eustacian tubes or GERD. I also run a low grade fever off and on. Had a chest and spinal Xray, again NORMAL. I went to the ENT and he put a camera down my throat and saw nothing but throat irritation and he too said GERD and put me on Priolosec. My sister just died of throat cancer so am I just freaking out or what? I am worried SICK! There still feels like there is something on the right side of my neck about an inch under my ear-lobe towards and towards my chin. He even did a thyroid test and that was normal too. He said my lymph nodes didn't appear swollen either. No weight loss, no pain to speak of accept that weird feeling, no visable lump, no itching, no loss of appetite. Please help me!!!!
Posted Sun, 17 Jun 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Follow-up: Respiratory illness, pityroasis rosea, pain in the neck and throat. Prescribed prilosec. Can this be throat cancer? 4 minutes later
Also, no trouble swallowing, no horse voice, no soar throat accept dry mouth once in awhile but not usually, my eyes burn some days. This is making me really crabby worrying about this and my doctor knows me well and I think he thinks I am crazy. I don't want to keep bugging him but need to know if I should be asking for specific test (which THEY as paid professionals should KNOW) or is this just something that I should not worry about and go on living my life and get back to my kids with my normal happy self!
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. Pityriasis rosacea is a benign, self limiting viral exanthem commonly seen after upper respiratory tract infections.

2. Anti histaminics or anti allergy medication commonly prescribed for such rashes lead to dry mouth and throat, leading to a foreign body sensation of something stuck in the throat. Stress (such as the fear of throat cancer) and GERD will worsen this feeling.

3. Since your videolaryngoscopy and all other investigations are normal, there is no cause for worry.

4. The region that you are referring to below and in front of the ear lobe is the region of the Jugulo Digastric (JD) lymph node. Imaging studies (such as an ultrasound) are of use in examining the deeper regions in the neck.

6. The simplest course of action will be to continue antibiotics, anti-allergics, anti-inflammatory agents, medicated gargles and anti-reflux medication and investigate further if there is no relief after a week of treatment.

5. I get many apprehensive patients who are related to throat cancer victims. This is a common apprehension. Many patients seek attention after seeing normal structures in their throats for the first time. A regular follow up, negative tests and assurance is all that is needed.

7. I must emphasize that the chance of a serious problem, such as throat cancer (which is rare even though your sister succumbed to it and with no specific history and symptoms) at your age is rare.

8. Though there is no specific test for all cancers and the list of investigations is endless, you may get an Onko-Sure DR 70 general cancer early detection screening blood test done which is based on tumor markers.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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