Tonsillar cancer (tumor)


Throat | Oncology | Tonsillar cancer (tumor) (Disease)


Description

Neck pain refers to discomfort in the throat. The symptoms range from scratching sensation to severe pain in the neck. Sore throat pain is often accompanied by ear drops (ears), because cranial nerves IX and X innervate the pharynx and middle ear and external.

Symptoms of tonsil cancer include a sore at the back of the throat that does not heal, or one tonsil that is bigger than the other. It may or may not be painful. Tonsil cancer is known to cause bleeding, bad breath, or altered taste. Larger cancers can interfere with eating, talking or breathing, and may make it difficult to open the mouth.

Causes and Risk factors

Tonsil cancer is cancer that occurs in one of the three types of tonsils of the throat. It most commonly occurs in the palatine tonsils, which are located on either side of the throat, although it can also occur in the pharyngeal tonsils (also called adenoids), which are behind the nasal cavity, or in the lingual tonsils, which are at the back of the tongue. Most tonsil cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, which arise in the lining tissues of the mouth, although it is possible for lymphoma (a type of immune system cancer) to develop in the tonsils.

Smoking is the most common risk factor for squamous cell carcinomas of the tonsils. Alcohol is also a risk factor; the combination of smoking and alcohol use yields an even greater risk than using either substance alone.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Radiation therapy or surgery can be effective in treating early tonsil cancer, and chemotherapy can be effective in treating more advanced tonsil cancer. Following surgery to remove cancerous tissue, reconstructive surgery can help restore structures that have been removed and rehabilitation can help you relearn how to eat, swallow or talk, if needed. ...