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Discomfort in throat near gland up left chin,shoulder. Quit smoking, noticed hard lumps, red spots in mouth. Any ideas ?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
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I've been having discomfort in my throat near my gland up into my left chin and even into my left shoulder. I have recently quit smoking pot after three years of it. I noticed it got worse when I smoked. But now there is a hard lump on my left hard palate in my mouth and red spots on that side as well. I went to an acupunturist and it helped the symptoms enough that I feel much better. The hard bump seems to have gotten softer but the spots have increased up towards my teeth. My dentist said that it would go away and wasn't concerned because the spot was not white. But now there are several spots. I am doing a lot to get my body in good health even as far as quitting caffeine. I think this is an infection. Any ideas?
Posted Fri, 25 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 5 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. The appearance, size, exact location of the bump, behavior, growth rate or a close up image will help give a better understanding as to the nature of this flesh colored bump. You may share a close-up image here.

2. The softer feel and red spots may signify local trauma and inflammation either from repeated palpation or chewing on rough, hard foodstuff.

3. A differential will include mostly benign conditions such as a normal palatal torus (which may be naturally asymmetric),an area of lymphoid hypertrophy, accessory lymphoid tissue, inflamed minor salivary gland tissue, fever, local inflammation and lymph node tenderness in the neck. This may also explain the discomfort in the neck and shoulder.

5. Imaging studies (such as an ultrasound or scans) are of use only to detect any deeper connections or related external masses in the neck. Routine blood tests may be advised by your physician.

6. The simplest course of action will be a course of antibiotics, anti-allergics, anti-inflammatory agents and medicated gargles. If there is no improvement, an excision biopsy and a histopathological examination which will reveal the true diagnosis of the bump. As long as it is a limited mass, surgery will be minor. You may follow up with the HPE report here.

7. I must emphasize that the chance of a cancerous growth at your age is rare. Cancer will be progressive and will not respond to medication. It is good to hear that you have stopped smoking pot (cannabis) and reduced excessive caffeine intake.

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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