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Q. Can cancer cause localized, persistent sore throat and painful swallowing?

Answered by
Dr. Mohammed Osama Aboborda
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 09, 2022

Hi doctor,

I have had a persistent, localized sore throat for three weeks on one side, painful swallowing, and pain when flexing the throat (like a deep cough, for example). I am very worried; please help.

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#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq. com.

Please capture a photo of your throat using your phone camera and send it to me. Do you suffer from reflux in the form of a burning sensation in your chest or stomach? Do you suffer from a bitter taste in your throat when waking up in the morning? Are you feverish? Please answer these questions for better evaluation.

Thank you.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

It is too far down to capture a photo, as it is close to my voice box. But I can still send it if necessary. I do not suffer from acid reflux, not feverish, or wake up with a bitter throat.

Thank you.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

It would be better if you could send a clear photo. Anyway, pain is a good symptom; the sore is most commonly an inflammation. I suggest taking an anti-inflammatory drug such as tablet Brufen 400 mg (Ibuprofen 400 mg) once daily. Avoid cold and spicy foods, and drink warm fluids.

Thank you.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I will try to take one tomorrow morning. Am I just very worried it is cancer? If it is a one-sided sore throat and in one place? And that it has gone on so long. I appreciate your help.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I do not think it is cancer because it is acute in its onset.

Thank you.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I have had tonsilitis before, and this is much further down. So I am just worried that it is something bad as it does not get any better. Can it be an ulcer on my larynx, or what can it be? Please suggest.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Yes, it can be an ulcer deep in your throat. If it can not be reached by regular inspection, it will need to be inspected by an endoscope.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for yor reply.

But in your opinion, given that it has been a bit over three weeks with no improvement, does it not concern you that it is sinister? I smoked for a long time before and sometimes still do from time to time, so I am always worried that I have done something bad. My mother recently had mouth cancer, so I am even more worried. Thank you.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The only point that can make me worry is the family history of oral cancer. But it can be simply an ulcer. So the endoscope is mandatory now.

Regards.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

Do you think it is likely now you know that? Or unlikely but needs to have an endoscope? Do cancers feel like this, sharp pain when flexing the cough muscle, and can they reveal themselves so immediately after an illness? Sorry to ask so many questions, but I am just so worried, and I cannot see an ENT for another two weeks.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Do not be sorry; it is not common to be cancer, but the endoscope is mandatory for diagnosis.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I took a photo of the location in case it helps understand whether it could be an ulcer. It feels worse in the night and morning when my throat is dry.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The site is not the key to the diagnosis. Your neck shape is normal; no masses, no color changes; all these are good signs.

Regards.


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