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Doctor insights on: Is Tonsil Cancer Rare

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Why is tonsil cancer so rare?

Why is tonsil cancer so rare?

We don't know: Some cancers are common, and others very rare. We do not always know why.

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,330 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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What causes tonsil cancer?

What causes tonsil cancer?

Oral tobacco use: The majority of tonsillar cancers are related to the use of tobacco products, including chewing tobacco. Heavy alcohol use increases the risk in tobacco users. Another form of tonsillar cancer is lymphoma and there are no know preexisting conditions that cause that type of tumor.

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What does tonsil cancer look like?

What does tonsil cancer look like?

Bulging lump: Usually, it shows up as a lump on the side of the throat in the back. It can be painful or pain less. If the tonsil looks swollen, red, or irregular shaped, then it needs to be biopsied. Also, it can show up as swollen lymph nodes on the side of the neck as well.

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What are the signs of tonsil cancer?

What are the signs of tonsil cancer?

Several: There are several ways tonsil cancer can present and not everyone will have all signs/Symptoms. They can include: lump or ulcer/pain in the throat, neck mass, voice change, difficulty swallowing, and a deep earache. If you are concerned, please have your doctor check it out.

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How common is tonsil cancer in my 20s?

How common is tonsil cancer in my 20s?

Really rare: Tonsil cancer mostly is from chronic exposure to smoke and alcohol. In the 20's the length of exposure is too short for this to develop. (a good time to consider stopping these if you are at risk.) tonsils can be a site for metastatic tumors, and lymphoid system tumors - also very uncommon. If you have a growth, see your otolaryngologist for diagnosis.

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Is there a possibility I have tonsil cancer?

Is there a possibility I have tonsil cancer?

I do not know: Without examining you, knowing your family history, "social history" etc, and essentially doing a full history and physical examination on you, it would be impossible to comment on what condition you have, but hopefully, at age 24, tonsilar cancer would be rare. Best wishes.

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Would your temperature indicate whether you have tonsil cancer?

No not exactly: A look inside your throat by your doctor is the best way to see your tonsil's health or any problem in that area. Fever is more often a symptom of infection...Rarely due to cancer and in that case it is often due to internal/advanced cancers which can sometimes cause fever.

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I'm getting a small flesh looking growth removed from my tonsil how worried about cancer should I be?

I'm getting a small flesh looking growth removed from my tonsil how worried about cancer should I be?

Cancer Concerns: I encourage you to take a deep breath & try to relax. We are not able to diagnose this through this forum. When this is excised and the biopsy pathology is checked - you will know for certain. I certainly hope that you will have cause to feel reassured when this info is available. Take care

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I'm 22 years old and have one tonsil much larger than the other, its grown over the years I'm petrified its tonsil cancer, please help?

I'm 22 years old and have one tonsil much larger than the other, its grown over the years I'm petrified its tonsil cancer, please help?

Very unlikely: The likelyhood of asymmetric tonsils being cancer in an otherwise healthy young woman is extremely low. Far more likely is asymmetry due to low grade infection or some other completely benign reason. Take a breath, calm down and relax. That being said it is still a good idea to see an ENT doctor for an evaluation. Often what i'll do is take a picture and have the patient come back in 6 weeks or so.

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What happens if I doubt I have tonsil cancer then which doctor should I visit?

What happens if I doubt I have tonsil cancer then which doctor should I visit?

Your primary care: Any licensed physician can look at a throat mass and tell whether it needs to be biopsied.

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White oblong spot on tonsil cancer?

White oblong spot on tonsil cancer?

Possible: Tonsil cancers can present as a non painful swelling in the neck. You might be able to see something on your tonsil as well. It could just be an infection or calicification. This type of cancer is rising in your age group due to it's association with hpv. Get checked out by an ear nose and throat specialist for an appropriate evaluation.

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One enlarged tonsil, could it be a cancer?

Could be: How long has the unilateral enlargement lasted? What are associated symptoms? Is there lymph node enlargement? It is not feasible to give a reasonable answer without examining the lesion and may be taking a biopsy for examination of the tissue by a pathologist. It would be prudent to consult your doctor.

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What does cancer of the tonsils look like?

What does cancer of the tonsils look like?

Tonsil cancer: Hello, the appearance of cancer in the tonsil usually looks like a ulcer, asymmetric, reddish and often bleeds. This lesion would also be very painful. However, tonsil cancer may be present and the tonsil may look completely normal. So a normal appearing tonsil does not guarantee cancer isn't present. See your ENT doctor for a complete evaluation.

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How effective is tomotherapy on tonsil cancer?

How effective is tomotherapy on tonsil cancer?

Tonsil cancer: Most malignancies of the tonsil are non-keratinizing squamous cell carcinomas that are hpv-related. Unlike other squamous cell carcinomas of the head & neck, they tend to be exquisitely radiation and chemosensitive. While my hospital does not perform tomotherapy, any directed radiotherapy is likely effective. If the malignancy is lymphoid in origin (lymphoma), it's a very different discussion.

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Help please! Is cancer of the tonsils very common?

Tonsil cancer: More common in heavy alcohol drinkers and smokers. Becoming more common with HPV 16 disease. Squamous cell carcinoma most common, some lymphomas

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Could inflamed tonsils for months turn into tonsil cancer?

Could inflamed tonsils for months turn into tonsil cancer?

Usually not: Usually not - cancer is rare. Inflammed tonsils are painful and very rarely the pain of cancer may mimic the same discomfort in the throat and have difficulty with swallowing. In the us, women are showing an in increased risk of oropharyngeal cancers that has been attributed to hpv-16 virus infections due to oral sexual practices please see your doc or an ENT specialist for more answers.

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Had cancer on my tonsil 2 years ago. How likely is 2 come back.

Had cancer on my tonsil 2 years ago. How likely is 2 come back.

Slight: The tonsil is a lymphoid structure in the oropharynx helping provide immune reactivity against infection if needed. When affected by cancer a lymphoid lesion or squaf mous malignancy can develop. Both are treated with RT but require different forms of chem. If oral and cerical head and neck exams are neg. Now, the chance of recurrence is slight.

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Does having one quite larger tonsil than other always mean cancer. Been bigger for at least 10 years. Watching closely 2 months this now. No change?

Does having one quite larger tonsil than other always mean cancer. Been bigger for at least 10 years. Watching closely 2 months this now. No change?

Not likely cancer: Most enlarged tonsils are due to past infections. They are much less likely to be due to cancer. Most cancerous tonsils are high grade non-hodgkin's lymphomas. You are unlikely to have a tonsil enlarged by lymphoma for 10 years without lymphoma treatment.