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Sore throat, pain in the throat. Had smoking addiction. Taking amoxicillin after taking the strep test. Chances of throat cancer?

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I am 37 years old and having a problem with a sore throat. I am an ex smoker - I smoked from when I was about 19 to 27. I quit then but had a relapse this past year and smoked for about 6 months. Two weeks ago I got a sharp pain in my throat on the left side when smoking and it has since been an on and off dull ache in my throat. I have not had a cigarette since. I went to a clinic over the weekend and they couldn't find anything wrong but then did a strep test. He thought it was negative, but then at the very end of the test thought he could see a faint line, and thus prescribed me some amoxicillan. I have been on it for three days and my throat does not feel any different. I am very scared it is something more serious such as throat cancer and am terrified. It seems very weird that it would be strep since I have no other symptoms and my kids have not been sick or anything. Would love some advice. I am so scared it is something more serious.
Posted Fri, 13 Jul 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. There is no cause for worry.

2. I must emphasize that the chance of a throat cancer at your age is rare. Cancer will not be painful initially. Cancer will be progressive and will not respond to medication. It is good to hear that you have stopped smoking. These symptoms are usually investigated so as not to miss any rare cause.

3. Many infections are sub-clinical and mild. These may or may not require treatment with antibiotics.

4. Your symptoms may also be due to acid reflux or a post nasal drip.

You may stop worrying about cancer or something serious.

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

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Sore throat, pain in the throat. Had smoking addiction. Taking amoxicillin after taking the strep test. Chances of throat cancer? 9 hours later
Thank you for the response. So how long should I wait with this continuous sore throat before seeing a doctor? The amoxicillin is clearly not doing anything as I am on day 4 of it and woke up with no change. Ibuprophen/Alleve don't seem to really help much either. I am just concerned because everything I read states that sore throats for this long are not normal and can be serious. Could I possibly have damaged the lining in my throat or something?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 3 hours later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. Most antibiotics will work within two to three days. You may wait for a week before seeing your doctor.

2. Antibiotics do not work when the bacterial infection is resistant or absent. There may be viral or fungal infection. There may be acid reflux or a post nasal drip irritating the throat. There may be no infection, only allergy.

3. The chances of permanently damaging the lining of your throat are rare. This usually happens with long term exposure to tobacco, chemical burns and severe acidity. Most infections heal without a trace.

4. Many viral infections can drag on for weeks. Use a medicated gargle to soothe your throat. Get your doctors to also prescribe an anti allergic medication. Do you have a change in voice or cough?

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

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Sore throat, pain in the throat. Had smoking addiction. Taking amoxicillin after taking the strep test. Chances of throat cancer? 1 hour later
Thank you very much. No, I do not have any change in voice or cough. In fact I have no other cold symptoms which concerns me - the only thing I have is the sore throat, especially when I swallow. Do you think the strep throat diagnosis was incorrect? I am just concerned that this is just the beginning of something more serious such as throat cancer since it does not seem to be getting any better after over a week.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. False positive results with the rapid strep test are seen, though the incidence is low.. They may occur if the infection is early, mild, recovering or due to other similar bacteria, after having food, fluids and so on.

2. Get a throat swab done. On culture, it may help identify the bacteria. If the throat swab is negative, it may be a viral infection which is ten times more common.

3. You are already on antibiotics. The throat swab culture also includes testing for antibiotic sensitivity (or resistance). This will help decide if the antibiotic has to be changed.

4. Throat cancer is not a concern.

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

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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