Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties
162 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM BlogQuestions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction

Are sore throat and swollen glands in throat signs of throat cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Ahmad

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 1308 Questions

Posted on Tue, 19 Apr 2016 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: Hello,

I have had a sore throat for about three weeks on my left side. I have always felt like my left side was a bit tender and if I ever got a cancor-sore or pimple on my left side my glands would be sensitive. I went to the doctor and she swabbed my throat and felt around. She said my glands are not swollen, I have no lumps or anything and that it must be a cold, allergies or acid reflux. She prescribed me acid reflux medication because I did have a spout recently and I feel like the pain might have gotten better.

I'm not in excruciating pain by any means, I have no pain anywhere else along with no other symptoms. However, being pretty scared of cancer, I am nervous it is throat cancer. I haven't smoked a cigarette in over 2 years (I smoke an electric cig however), I had a physical last year that my lung function was at 110% and I suffer from no other issues. I am 30 years old and feel perfectly fine otherwise. It just feels tight on my left side near where my nose meets my throat and I have some pain swallowing. I wouldn't be worried otherwise, but how long it is lasting has me nervous.

Answered by Dr. Muhammad Ahmad 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Here are a few things that will help you if you know them.

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for writing.

I am Dr.Muhammad Ahmad. I have read your question completely, i understand your concern and will try to help you in best way possible.

Getting scared of cancer is a natural thing, but i kinda agree with your doctor that you don't have any big problem. Here are a few things which happen in cancer.

1) Weight loss.
2) pain.
3) obstruction of passage.
4) bleeding.
5) hemoptysis.
6) swelling ..redness locallg at that area.
7) there are usually risk factors like family hostory betel nut chewing..smoking ..but you dont have any of these so i would suggest you not to panic.

You seem to be having stomach issues..stomach acid can cause throat irritation which may cause phlegm and irritation compression of airways.

Here are a few suggestions that can helo you get relief off your symptoms.

1) Avoid Fizzy drinks, coffee , caffeine, tea.
2) Avoid pain killers.
3) Take syrup gaviscon one table spoon thrice a day..
4) Eat high fibre diet.
5) I would also suggest similar patient in my clinic to take omeprazole 40mg a day and a prokinetic like motillium.
6) You can take OTC anti vomiting med for some days too.

This can be controlled very easily by simple life style changes and medication so don't panic hopefully my suggestions will help you

you have nothing among that

I hope this answered your question, a
if you have more please feel free to ask.


Dr.Muhammad Ahmad.

M.B.B.S(Licensed Family Physician)
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Muhammad Ahmad 17 hours later
Thank you for the response. My gut did tell me that the doctor was right since most symptoms that should be related I do not have. But Googling pretty much anything can put a scare on quite quickly.

The doctor did prescribe me Omeprazole 20MG and it has helped my stomach almost immediately. My throat does seem to be getting better but I feel a little tenderness/tightness in the area but I think it is just me thinking too much about it.

My last question would be about acid reflux itself. Why would acid reflux cause throat pain where my left nostril meets my throat? Wouldn't this be more associated with post nasal drip, allergies or using Afrin? (which I no longer use because my sore throat started after using it to try and help my sinuses). I am not asking because I doubt your answer, I am asking because ever since I started the acid reflux medication my throat has been healing and feeling better. It is just odd to me that feeling a sore throat that is by my nasal passage and not a burning sensation in my esophagus would be related.
Answered by Dr. Muhammad Ahmad 2 days later
Brief Answer:
Yes pain here can be caused by allergy but...

Detailed Answer:
Hello thanks for writing back,

you arent wrong either throat indeed at that place allergies cause pain too but not always... thorat and stomach are connected too there is just one valve (epiglottis) which separates them.... so when there is an acid reflux it can irritate throat..sometimes in a few people specially those who have been haping reflux for quite some time, there can be no pain or burning in chest because esophagus has adapted to reflux but when acid starts irritating the throat there is pain in throat.

Doctor actually sees other aspects too while making a diagnosis like if you are having flue symptoms and then pain in throat i wont tell you to have stomach meds same way if symptoms indicate towards throat irritation fo to stomach upset or GERD i will make refulx the prime suspect and i will start with stomach meds..

So basically these are clinical decisions which doctors make according to history symptoms ,their experience and impression at the time of checkup. If current medication is helping you then i believe you are walking down the right path and i am quite positive that things will get great soon.


Dr.Muhammad Ahmad.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Muhammad Ahmad 9 days later
Okay, so my throat got better but then it got worse again. It got better, but now hurts again. It especially burns when I drink coffee.

I don't think it is acid reflux as the pain is right where my left nostril meets my throat. I have tried (only for one day) cleaning out that side with saline solution however Listerine mouth wash is what really subsides the pain. I think the electric cigarette I smoke could be irritating it and not allowing it to heal as it can dry my throat out.

However, the pain would not subside and then return if it was something more serious like throat cancer correct? I have no other symptoms but have to get flem out in the morning. When I clear my throat to get flem out it feels that is EXACTLY where the pain is. I've suffered with post nasal drip and flem for as long as I can remember. I am also on Amoxasilin for a tooth infection but that has NOT seemed to also heal my throat.

I will limit the e-cig and other irritants but I am just nervous this is something more serious. However my doctor seems to think it's nothing as I have no other symptoms. What are your thoughts on this?
Answered by Dr. Muhammad Ahmad 2 days later
Brief Answer:
doesnr aound like a cancer.avoid coffee..cigarette.

Detailed Answer:
Hello thanks dear for writing back,

Yes your cigarette can be irritation your throat..

in the description you gave me in your 1st question my opinion as infeed a reflux but now as you are saying you uae cigarette as this might be cause.

And as you told you coffee is irritating your throat so I would suggest you to protect your throat from coffee and cigarette.

Here I would again mention that there doesn't seem to be any issues of cancer.

Caner remember has followimg related points which are important to know.

1) They occur usually in later ages.
2) Usually are visible in throat like ulcers or sprouting lesions.
3) Weight loss is there.
4) Bleed is there usually.
5) Familt history can be there.
6) usually cancer ic chronic symtoms start from mild and then gradually get sever.

I would suggest you not to panic there is nothing in your case which points to a cancer.

If things don't settle then you always have option to visit your doctor again and to have your throat looked at.

Dr.Muhammad Ahmad.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,   ,   ,  
Drug/Medication ,  
Medical Topics

Recent questions on  Reflux medication

doctor1 MD

My lower belly and left side have a lot of pressure, bloating and cramping. I feel like it’s full of gas but I’m unable to release it

doctor1 MD

What can I do to stop acid reflux . I have allergies; I have a heart condition and have had a number of nose bleeds in the past year. My main...

doctor1 MD

I have had terrible acid reflux for weeks. I have a tickle in the back of my throat that usually leads to very thick phlegm and constant coughing ....