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What are the most common symptoms of throat cancer while suffering from HIV and bipolar disorder post nasal drip?

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Infectious Diseases Specialist
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 871 Questions
Hi I have a post nasal drip and over the past week I've felt that the back of my throat is swollen on the right side. I am in no pain, my voice is not hoarse and my throat is not sore. I had my tonsils out about 6 years ago. Over the last few days my gland on the right side of my neck was swollen and sore, but this has now returned to normal. If I look at the back of my throat, then the right side occupies more space than the left. However, when my tonsils were removed they were very enlarged and at the time I was left with lots of scar tissue, so I guess my throat will look a bit different to others. I've also experienced wind, and a bubbling sensation in the vinicity of my stomach/intestines, but again, this has not been painful and there has been no blood in my stools or urine. I am HIV positive (0 viral load, CD4 count 1000) and have health anxieties along with Bipolar disorder, and I worry that the problem with my throat could be cancer. Should I be concerned with any of these symptoms. I understand that there are many types of throat cancer, but if perhaps you could list some of the most common symptoms I would be greatful. Thanks XXXX
Posted Mon, 20 Jan 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Post nasal drip causes swelling in throat Detailed Answer: Hi Mr. XXXXXXX Thanks for choosing health care magic for your query. I have gone through your query and I understand your concern regarding the unilateral swelling in the throat. I am suspecting post nasal drip as the culprit for the swelling rather than cancer. Post nasal drip often leads to a sore, irritated throat. Although there is usually no infection, the throat may swell. This can cause discomfort or a feeling of a lump in the throat. Treatment of the post-nasal drip will usually reduce the swelling of the throat. However, symptoms of throat cancer include: 1. Cough usually dry cough 2. Hoarseness of voice 3. Difficulty in swallowing 4. Ear pain 5. A lump in the throat increasing in size 6. Persistent sore throat 7. Weight loss more than 10% of the body weight in the past one month. If you are having any of these associated symptoms you need to get in touch with an otolaryngologist for examination and appropriate therapy. I hope I have answered your query satisfactorily. Thanks.
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Follow-up: What are the most common symptoms of throat cancer while suffering from HIV and bipolar disorder post nasal drip? 7 minutes later
Hi Dr Hiremath Thanks for your response. I have none of the seven symptoms that you have listed, just a feeling of mild swelling plus a constant stream of mucus, but I think I may have just picked up a cold or an erta, and as I have stated, I have not had a sore or irritated throat, and the drip seems to have improved today. I have one final question. My HIV doctor tests my blood every three months for a host of nasty things, not all of them STD related - are you able to advise whether he would be able to pick something like cancer up from the blood tests that he carries out? They are quite extensive (normally five/six vials of blood is taken) and will the nasal drip clear itself up? Thanks XXXX
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 33 minutes later
Brief Answer: Post nasal drip causes and treatment Detailed Answer: Hi Mr. XXXXXXX Welcome back. Post nasal drip is most commonly caused by cold, flu, sinusitis and dust allergies. If you are having symptoms of a cold, I would suggest you take over the counter cold medications preferably with a nasal decongestant. Steam inhalation will also help to some extent to relieve the post nasal drip. Blood tests as such are not very useful in diagnosing cancer of throat. Imaging of the throat region or biopsy of throat tissue will be more useful for diagnosis rather than blood sample. But as you are not having any symptoms suggestive of any malignancy, I would suggest you quit worrying unnecessarily and get appropriate therapy to get rid of the post nasal drip. I hope I have cleared all your doubts. Please let me know if I can assist you further. Thanks.
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Follow-up: What are the most common symptoms of throat cancer while suffering from HIV and bipolar disorder post nasal drip? 3 hours later
Thanks so much, you've really helped to put my mind at rest. I am seeing my HIV doctor on 28th of this month, so will have him look at the drip and see what he says. Thanks again, and Merry Christmas to you. XXXX
Answered by Dr. Roopa Hiremath 6 hours later
Brief Answer: Merry Christmas to you too Detailed Answer: Hi Mr. XXXXXXX Please get an ENT exam done just to rule out causes of throat swelling. Thanks Wishing you a Merry Christmas!!!
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