Tonsil Cancer: Symptoms and Signs
The symptoms of tonsil cancer as well as other oropharynx cancers, can be different. They depend on the location of the tumor and its size. You may notice or feel that there is a tumor in your mouth that’s located on one of the tonsils. If there is a tumor, it will be detected by your doctor while you’re being examined. Keep in mind that a lump in the neck is not considered to be the first symptom to occur.
In overall, there are the following symptoms of oropharynx cancers that are considered to be the main ones:
There may be painful sensations or you may have difficulty when trying to swallow something. The reason for it is that the tumor may be located in the way of swallowing. Besides, there may develop ulcer and there may occur bleeding since the tumor will be growing.
A Lump in the Neck
It occurs if the tumor has already invaded into your lymph nodes in the neck. Sometimes it so happens that it is exactly this symptom that makes a person visit his/her doctor. If your doctor finds out that there is a mass in your neck, he/she may suspect that there is a case of cancer. Consequently, he/she will tell you to undergo some examinations in order to check if there is something in your oropharynx.
Painful Sensations in One of Your Ears
The term that doctors use in this case is “otalgia”. It occurs when the nerves of your throat get to your brain using the same passage as one of the nerves in the ear. That’s why your brain may be fooled. It may think that the pain the, actually, comes from the throat, is coming from the ear. In such like cases, you’ll be said to suffer from “a referred pain”. You are recommended to go to your doctor if you start experiencing painful sensations in one of your ears that don’t go away after some time. At the same time, you need to remember that painful sensations in your ear don’t always mean that you have cancer. These sensations may be caused by middle ear infection or dysfunction of the Eustachian tube. TMJ pain is also caused by otalgia. This pain means that there is something wrong with the joint that’s located in front of your ear.
Other Symptoms of Cancer of the Tonsils
Apart from the symptoms mentioned, there may occur the following:
- Trismus. It means that you’re unable to open your mouth widely;
- A lump in the throat;
- Bleeding from your mouth;
- The way you speak may change;
- Loss of weight.
Don’t try to make diagnosis yourself. Even if you have one or several symptoms from the list, it doesn’t mean that you’re dealing with an oropharyngeal cancer. Remember that these symptoms may be caused by other diseases or problems. We strongly recommend you to consult your doctor. He/she will be able to tell you for sure if you’re right or wrong.