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Swollen throat, history of binge drinking. Worried about head and neck cancer or stomach cancer

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1978
Answered : 6593 Questions
I'm concerned about alcohol and cancer. I just decided to quit drinking but I've been a binge drinking for 4 years. It started when I was 21 and then progressed until now at 25. I usually drink 1-2 liters of vodka a week as of lately. For the past 2-3 weeks I've felt like my throat is sort of swollen along the sides right under neath my jawline. I'm not actually seeing anything visible but I'm can feel a sort of tightness or pressure in those spots. Give my age and habits how likely is it that I've given myself a type of stomach cancer)? I asked this question yesterday and was told it's most likely an infection. within the past 24 hours there's been a change though. When I lay down to sleep I've woken up a few times to both my arms being asleep and feeling like they're tingling. At first I thought I was sleeping on them so I've tried a few different position and each time I still wake up with the same result. This has never happened before. Is this new change something I should be worried about? I'm not trying to be paranoid but all together this is very unnerving.
Posted Sun, 26 Aug 2012 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 5 hours later
Hello and thanks for the query.
Given your age,the chances of cancer seems very remote and moreover they present themselves differently.
As far as your sleeping arms are concerned,there may be two possibilities
1.. While sleeping ,there is undue pressure on them causing a restriction of blood flow and hence resulting in the sleepy feeling.
2... Severe alcoholism results in lack of B complex vitamins in the body and specifically vitamin B12.
Stop your drinking and start taking VIT B12 regularly for 6 weeks.You should be alright soon.

I hope to have answered your query however you may revert to me for any other query.
Best of luck
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Swollen throat, history of binge drinking. Worried about head and neck cancer or stomach cancer 46 minutes later
Thanks! Yeah, after my last response ai wasn't concerned it was still cancer. I just wanted to make sure I gave any details relevant to this new problem. I was concerned it might be caused by peripheral neuropathy due to alcohol usage. I wasn't sure if that wouldn't be expected in some my age as well. The only other thing I forgot to mention was there is a family history of severe multiple sclerosis however I didn't think to mention that because I know it's not prevalent in men.
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 13 minutes later
Your peripheral neuropathy definitely seems to be due to depletion of VIT B12 and this has been brought by heavy use of alcohol.
You are right that you are young to get this problem but since you have used alcohol in heavy quantities in past 4 years,hence the deficiency symptoms.
In any case there is nothing to worry.
Remain away from alcohol and take care of your nutrition and health.
You shall be alright soon.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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