Does the swelling in my throat look cancerous?

Q. What does bubble-like bump under the left tonsil look like?

Answered by
Dr. Mehak Agarwal
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 05, 2021 and last reviewed on: Aug 29, 2023

Hi doctor,

I had a tonsil stone in my left tonsil last week, and it got worse. The next day, I went to get swabbed for strep and culture swab. Both the test results were negative. They said I had viral tonsilitis, and I am taking Amoxicillin now. I noticed a small bubble-like bump under the left tonsil. I am freaking out if the picture I have attached looks cancerous or worrisome, and I could not consult an ENT specialist in person. What does it look like?



Welcome to

You sure have tonsillitis. Now considering the test results are negative, it is most likely a viral infection. But we cannot be sure, and so you should take an entire course of antibiotics. You have said you are taking Amoxicillin. Good. Next, the bump and the enlarged tonsil with redness and stones all signify some active infection now. There is pus production which is clogging the tonsillar pits (we call it crypts, though). These pits are normal, but when they get clogged with stones and pus, it becomes a problem and shows symptoms. I saw the picture (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity), they do not look cancerous. In addition to the antibiotic, I would suggest some anti-inflammatory painkiller medicines like Tylenol (Acetaminophen) and Brufen (Ibuprofen) and some antiallergics like Desloratadine or Cetirizine. Do warm saline or medicated gargles a few times daily. No smoking. Do not get exposed to dust and cold air. Keep yourself warm and hydrated. Avoid spicy, oily foods and carbonated drinks. Do revert if you need any more help. Happy to be helping you.

Hello doctor,

Thank you for answering. So it is not cancer, right?



Welcome back to

It is not cancer! Be assured. You will get better soon with the medicines you are taking and the ones I suggested. Please wait for three to five days and let me know how you feel.

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