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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What does cancer look like at the back of the throat?

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Dr. Richa Agarwal

OBGYN

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3208 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 12 Jun 2018 in Pregnancy
Question: Hey,

Flashback about 3 years. I had a very bad case of strep throat (doctor said it was one of the worst cases he had seen) which mostly affected my left tonsil. I was given antibiotics for it and foolishly ended the course when the infection started to feel better. About a week after that it started to feel sore again and but the feeling slowly tapered off over the course of a week. Ever since that infection, I have noticed that the left tonsil always seemed to bother me from time to time. For example, feel sore after drinking alcohol or caffeine and generally whenever I get sick, it begins with my left tonsil feeling sore and spreads to the rest of my throat. Additionally, when I am sick, my left tonsil always feels much worse them my right. It is generally much more painful and often gets white streaks on it. About 2-3 months ago I had a very bad cold and it once again left the left side of my throat feeling very sore. As I finally recovered from the cold, the pain continued to persist in my left tonsil. Ever since then, my left tonsil has been continuously sore. It often fluctuates in intensity day by day as well as throughout the day but it has been nevertheless been a constant presence.

I should also note that I have had acid reflux for 7+ years which has varied in severity. Recently, the reflux has been feeling much worse and as a result my tonsil has been getting quite more sore.

Over the past few days it has been a sharp pain the tonsil. I have no problem eating or swallowing food but I can definitely feel the inflammation constantly. I can also feel it slight starting to spread to my left ear/nostril area. I have been trying to subdue the reflux with calcium tablets and gaviscon. I also started to take Omeprazole today. I am hoping it starts to feel better as my reflux cools down but I guess I'll find out in a few days.

Although I feel like the reflux is definitely not helping the situation at all, I am not entirely convinced that it is the cause of the pain in my tonsil. I have after all had reflux for some years but the tonsil pain only really started to linger after the bad cold I developed a few months ago. It seems to fit the description of tonsilitis except for the fact that it was been constantly sore for 3 months. I would presume that if it was a viral or bacterial infection it would not last so long.

I was recently looking at the tonsil in the mirror trying to see how it looked and I noticed there seems to be some strange lump/ protuberance coming out of the back side of it. I did my best to take a photo. It was a bit difficult so it's not the best quality. Could this possibly be a cancerous tumor or something of that nature. I also saw that there are some red patches in the back of my throat. Presumably from the reflux.

I am consulting you because I am currently travelling in Morocco for the next few months and likely don't have access to an English speaking doctor/the best of medical facilities. I am wondering if this looks like something serious enough to warrant a trip to Spain to have it looked at by a doctor there.

Sorry for the wall of text. Please let me know what you thibk. Thanks.
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Answered by Dr. Richa Agarwal 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Need to be investigated.

Detailed Answer:
Hello dear,
Thanks for trusting hcm about your health care.
I have gone through your history in detail and go through your images and understand your concern about your health.
In my opinion as you are suffering with bad sore throat and tonsillitisand acid reflux there is always a possibility of continuous friction which convert into cancer( though you are so young).
As I am unable to examine you and picture is also not very clear,with your history I would suggest you to go and meet with your doctor and if required get the biopsy done to rule out the cause.
Hope found useful, feel free to ask more information.
Good luck.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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