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Worried about Tonsil Cancer

6 Nov 2018 15:07

Hi there. I’m really looking for some reassurance or advice on where to go next. I hope I don’t offend anyone with my worries. I am a 20 year old female who doesn’t smoke but I do drink quite a lot on occasion. For the past month or 2 I have had a very odd sensation on the left side of my throat. No pain per say but more of a numbness and discomfort. I constantly feel the need to swallow and clear my throat and have a dry cough. I was having a look in the mirror a couple of weeks ago and noticed my left tonsil seems slightly swollen. It also has a horrible smell coming off it which is giving me bad breath. Finally I have been feeling very fatigued for a while now and last week noticed that I have a very hard lump just beneath my ear where the skin meets the jaw, it’s slighly tender when pressure is applied but I am unable to move it. I don’t know how long that was there for as it doesn’t cause pain when not being touched. I finally got an appointment at my practice today and managed to see a nurse. She diagnosed it as tonsillitis. I wasn’t happy with this as I have had tonsillitis before and it felt nothing like this, I’m also not keen on taking antibiotics when I don’t need them. I was really hoping for some advice on what to do next. Am I being totally paranoid, is there another explanation? Should I try and see the dentist or another health professional who can offer an alternative diagnosis. I just have a horrible gut feeling that something isn’t right Sad

Re: Worried about Tonsil Cancer

6 Nov 2018 17:13 in response to Cmarie19

Hi there,

Not paradoid at all and understand you just want to get to bottom of and also give yourself peace of mind.

From what you have described, I would prefer to get an appointment with a GP rather than nurse and outline your symptoms and describe what nurse has said. Has your nurse prescribed antibiotics rather than GP?

Only my opnion, but would not really suggest a dentist as your next step and I would respectfully suggest you book an appointment with your GP and outline symptoms and follow up and ask for a referral if precribed antibiotics if they dont clear symptoms.
It may well be tonsilitus as they can grow back in and although none here can diagnose anything, I would recommend GP next to discuss and see what they want to do, if anything, next.

Other bit of advice I can offer is not to Google symptoms as you can end up with all sorts of misinformation there.
Hope all goes ok and keep posted on how you get on or if you just want to chat further.

kind regards

Re: Worried about Tonsil Cancer

6 Nov 2018 17:19 in response to Anchor1707

Thank you for replying. Yes it was a nurse I saw and yes she prescribed the antibiotics. I will try and get a GP appointment it’s just frustrating as it takes roughly 4 weeks to get an appointment:( I will the antibiotics anyway and see if it helps, if not I’ll try the GP. 

Re: Worried about Tonsil Cancer

8 Nov 2018 10:55 in response to Cmarie19

Hey, I'm going through the same. 

I'm 31,drink occasionally and used to smoke with a drink but not a anymore. I started with sore throat about 5 weeks ago and noticed one tonsil bigger than the other, after 2 weeks I went to the doctors and was prescribed antibiotics, they didn't work so I went back, the doctor I saw was a cancer specialist, I told him my worries and he looked at my tonsil and said its 100% not cancer. I don't know how he can say that from just looking. Anyway, symptoms have got worse, stabbing pains in my throat, feeling sick, going dizzy, so went back to gp yesterday and he's fast tracked me to specialist so just waiting on appointment. Just thinking the worst.

Re: Worried about Tonsil Cancer

8 Nov 2018 11:14 in response to Kel668

Hi Kel

Sorry to hear of your symptoms and you were right to go back to doctor.
The fact doctor was a cancer specialist and gave you some re assurance was a good sign but right that you go and get checked properly.

One bit of advice is not to google too much as there is a lot of misinformation and can also set your mind into overdrive.
Every refeerrral is not auromatic cancer or doom and gloom and lets hope good news and you also get to bottom of. None of us can diagnose here but could be flux and acid from stomach causing upset and sore throat/tonsilitis and whole range of other things and why the need to see specialist.

I hope you get your appoitment soon and keep us posted on how you get on and I wish you well.

Feel free to chat away or ask any other questions that you think might help in anyway.

Kind regards


Re: Worried about Tonsil Cancer

8 Nov 2018 16:31 in response to Anchor1707

Thanks for your reply Ian, will keep you updated. X

Re: Worried about Tonsil Cancer

1 Dec 2018 10:42 in response to Anchor1707

Hey, I had my ENT appointment, he looked into my throat with camera and had a good check round, said he could see my right tonsil was bigger than my left and I had a couple of swollen lymph nodes but that it didn't look sinister. He said he can't say for definate what it is unless I have my tonsils out so they can be sent for testing to get to the bottom of it, which I've agreed to and having it done in the next 2 weeks. Having an MRI today which I'm really scared about so just gotta wait and see what the results of that come back as. He said he's keeping me on the 2 week urgent pathway but it's not because he thinks it's cancer but because that's what my GP has referred me on and he's just seeing it through. Not sure if he's just saying that so I don't panic. My heads all over I'm so scared. 

Re: Worried about Tonsil Cancer

1 Dec 2018 12:22 in response to Kel668

Hi Kel,

Totally understand why you are anxious but its a good sign consultant didnt think anything sinister and does not seem overly concerned.
Probably best that the further tests are done to make sure but I would take some comfort from the consultation you had with expert.

Good luck with tonsil removal as I had done as well and although not brilliant to go through, it does sound from all your post and what you have described from consultant that tonsilitis is more likely than anything sinister. While non of us can diagnose here and totally understand your anxious, please try and stay positive as you have had no negative sounds from consultant at all and Im rooting for you.

kind regards


Re: Worried about Tonsil Cancer

10 Dec 2018 10:48 in response to Kel668

Hi kell668, I hope you have got on alright with the rest of your testing/surgery. I was wondering how you are getting on now? I have just finally been put on the urgent referral for ENT after waiting for another appointment at GPs. Since my first post I have had multiple lymph nodes come up and we my jaw that haven’t gone away and strayed to get left ear pain too. I’m so nervous about this referral as the nurse mentioned it could be lymphoma . I hope that once I do get my appointment that I have a simaole outcome to yours. Best of luck with everything x

Re: Worried about Tonsil Cancer

8 Jan 2019 09:06 in response to Cmarie19

Hey, sorry just seen your post, hope your getting on OK? I had my surgery and biopsies and get results tomorrow. So nervous. I was told immediately after my surgery that nothing suspicious was found and that the surgeon isn't expecting the biopsies to come back as cancer which is good. But it's not a definate and thats why I'm still worried. Just want to know now. Been months of worry. X