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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Head and Neck Cancer

Question: Growth/Lump Behind Tonsil, on Oropharyneal Wall

 JessM2307 - Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:50 pm

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

I recently got over a bad cold and sinus infection. I had the usual symptoms---sore throat, bad congestion, cough, fatigue. I got better for a couple of days and then suddenly some of my glands under the left side of my jaw become painful and swollen, but I did not have a sore throat. I decided to check my tonsils to see if they were enlarged or had any white spots, etc. I admit that I looked more thoroughly than even before and when I pushed my tongue down, I noticed something protruding from behind the left tonsil. It's not very big, smooth and rounded, and it's growing from the side wall of my throat. It's somewhat behind that second arch that encapsulates the tonsil, and the base of my tongue. It seems to be a bit lighter in color than the tissue around it. Sort of yellowish at the tip.

I don't seem to have this on the other side, but the right side is a bit more difficult to see because I have a cyst on that tonsil. I understand you'd need to examine me to be certain of a diagnosis, but any idea what this might be? I suppose there's a chance it's been there for some time, since I never look so closely. Could it be part of my tonsil? Or just normal tissue? Another cyst? I recently went to an ENT, but he did not look much in my mouth and I fear he missed it.

I was put on antibiotics for the sinus infection and my swollen glands have been gone for about a week and a half now, but the lump persists. I have no sore throat either. I do have chronic allergies that I'm just now trying to get a hold of with a steroid nasal spray. I also suffer from tonsil stones..

I'd appreciate any insight you could provide. Best, J
 John Kenyon, CNA - Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:49 pm

User avatar Hello --

First, I'm troubled that the ENT didn't examine your mouth and throat! But that's in the past now. The thing you describe, along with the history surrounding it, sounds like it is probably a cyst, perhaps a superficial lymph node which lies near the inner surface of your throat. Neck glands are located in both the inner and outer walls of the neck structures. This could also be part of your tonsil or at least closely related to it. Again, the ENT could have laid this to rest quickly had he only done a complete office exam.

Sometimes a lymph node (or tonsil root) can develop a cyst, and cysts can sometimes be so walled off that antibiotics don't affect them. This does sound, just from your description, like it's probably cystic in nature and, due to your history, one has to suspect the tonsil. I hope you'll go back (or to a different ENT) and have this looked at. It probably isn't a major concern, but now that we know it's there we can't just leave it alone.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck to you and please follow up with us here as needed.

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