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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Head and Neck Cancer

Question: Symptoms of tonsil cancer

 mcculley - Fri May 01, 2009 10:28 am

I had a persistent sore throat, and fatigue from about end of January through mid March, so I went to my PCP. I told her the exact spot that was bothering me...checked it out - said yes, red spots...sending you to ENT. I also explained my fatigue - in that I could not "recharge my batteries" with a good nights sleep, etc. By the time I went to the ENT a week later - said did not see red spots.. I told him the spot that had bothered then it was not constant... would come and gone... seemingly when I was rundown or tired, and I had constant fatigue... Said he did not see anything of great concern, however has had patients present with same symptoms, and they had lymphoma. Put me on a course of Keflex for two weeks, in case I have an infection going on in my tonsils.... I had significant side effects of persistent headache, and mental confusion, so he just changed me to a Z pack. Well when washing my hair this morning I noticed a sensitive spot on the back of my head/neck. Its on the left side where the skull and neck meet. I think this must be were a lymph node is? I had basal cell carcinoma on my face a year ago... I also have lost 15 pounds in last two months, however I had attributed it to cutting beef out of my diet. Thoughts? My follow up with the ENT is Monday, however of course these have been the longest two weeks of my life.... Anxious as my mom died of cancer 12 years ago... a week to the day we found out she had breast cancer..... Would would be the next steps, if sore throat does not go away?
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:22 am

User avatar Hi,
Tonsillar cancers usually present as neck masses (lymph nodes).Most common lymph nodes to be involved are the upper deep cervical lymph nodes (jugulo- digastric in particular).Your symptoms and signs are very unlike that of tonsillar cancers.Throat signs and symptoms usually appear late.The suspected lymph node that you mention (possibly occipital group) is also a very unusual site for a tonsillar cancer.Therefore please do not worry (although it is natural that you are concerned due to the family history).Please follow up with your ENT specialist.Good luck!

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