You know the feeling at the beginning of a troublesome cold – stagnation, sore throat and probably swollen almonds. In rare cases, sore throats with your tonsils may be a sign of cancer recently seen by Grammy-winning country singer John Berry.
Berry, 59, shared a Facebook video of when he began to feel a "hook" in his throat that felt like the skin of a Spanish peanut got stuck in my throat. As he put a flashlight in his mouth, he noticed his almonds were "really swollen". After a doctor's visit, he was prescribed a round of antibiotics and steroids, but his symptoms continued. Eventually, he saw an ear, nose and throat specialist who had undergone a CT scan, which revealed he had two tumors in his tonsils.
Berry's wife Robin said in the video that her husband will undergo treatment. In five weeks he added that "everything is fine". Berry also told his fans that his cancer was "very treatable" and had an "incredible" cure rate of 90 percent.
Tonsil cancer belongs to a group of oral and pharyngeal cancer that is becoming more common.
As the name implies, almond cancer is a cancer that begins in the cells of your tonsils, the two oval-shaped pads in your mouth, the Mayo Clinic . says.
Tonsil cancer is often caged with a group of cancers called oropharyngeal carcinomas, which are cancers of the neck, back of the tongue, and soft palate which is the Department of Endocrine Oncology The head and neck of the Moffitt Cancer Center, just SELF. "In general, these cancers are uncommon, but the rate of oropharyngeal cancers is increasing worldwide, especially in North America (19459115) in human papillomavirus (HPV)," she says.
According to recent estimates of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women are diagnosed with about 3,400 new cases of HPV-related oropharyngeal carcinomas, and approximately 14,800 menopausal cases occur in the US each year diagnosed. As explained by SELF ]the rates of these cancers have increased since the late 1990s.
It is difficult to predict which part of these oropharyngeal cancers is tonsillar cancer, but med. Erich Madison Sturgis is Professor in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery At the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, SELF says he has recently seen an "increasing number" of cases of this form of cancer. "As a medical community, we see more patients with almond cancer." Omid Mehdizadeh M. D., an Otolaryngologist and Laryngologist at the Providence Saint John Health Center in Santa Monica, California, says SELF. "We're getting a lot of patients who have never been smokers or drinkers, and historically, it has been the patients who are more likely to get tonsillitis."
The symptoms of almond cancer may be difficult to distinguish from those of patients A "normal" sore throat.
Tonsil cancer can lead to dysphagia and feel as if something is in your throat, says the Mayo Clinic but these are also quite normal for sore throat a minor viral or bacterial disease.
Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the other symptoms that you have in addition to the sore throat. If the culprit is something like a cold, an upper respiratory tract infection, or a sore throat, you may also notice fever, runny nose, and body aches. med. Melin Tan-Geller, an Otolaryngologist at ENT and Allergy Associates and Associate Professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine / Montefiore Medical Center, tells SELF.
The timing of your symptoms is also important. Most viral respiratory diseases heal within 10 days (though it may take longer until a persistent cough disappears ). If you have a sore throat that does not stop, your doctor will generally recommend waiting for treatment or antibiotics to see if it will relieve the infection. But that does not help, if you're actually dealing with almond cancer, says dr. Sturgis. If that does not work out, it may be a sign that you are dealing with something more serious.
A few other things to look out for with almond cancer are bleeding from the throat or swollen lymph nodes that have not gone down, Dr. McMullen. People with tonsillitis may also have a visible wound in their throats, says dr. Tan Geller, and you may even find that one side of your tonsils is swollen while the other side is not swollen. "That would be a sign that something is wrong," says Dr. Sturgis.
"In general, persistent sore throats that do not respond to antibiotics should be examined by a specialist," Dr. Mehdizadeh.
If you have a sore throat that has not disappeared within a few weeks or has undergone standard care, consult a specialist.
In particular, it is advisable to consult an ear, nose and throat specialist. There, the doctor will examine your mouth and throat, feel your neck for lumps and examine the inside of your mouth with a mirror and bright light, says the Mayo Clinic . If your doctor determines that something looks unusual, he probably takes a sample of cells to send to a lab for testing and can do imaging tests, such as a CT scan or MRI .
If you're diagnosed with tonsillar cancer, the right treatment plan will depend on your individual case and how far your cancer has progressed. McMullen. Given how vague the symptoms can be and how easy it is to eradicate sore throats, the almond cancer is usually diagnosed later when the cancer has spread to the tongue and lymph nodes, the Mayo Clinic says. According to McMullen, depending on your stage, your doctor recommends surgery to remove tonsils, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of these things.
Overall, the prognosis for almond cancer is "good" if it is treated well. Sturgis. However, the treatment is "not easy" and requires a specialist who treats this fairly regularly. Sturgis stuck. "If that fails, it's unlikely there's a chance to save the situation. That's why it's important to be treated by someone who does this often. "
Because many of these cancers are associated with HPV infections, experts also stress that it is important to receive the HPV vaccine and get their children vaccinated against the HPV Protect strains that most commonly cause cancer. "The reason we have this epidemic of oropharyngeal carcinoma is HPV," says Dr. Strugis. "We have to have our children vaccinated."