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Persistant left sided throat pain when swallowing..Need advice..
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Persistant left sided throat pain when swallowing..Need advice..

Hi and thank you so much for your time. My history is 38 y/o female, T&A in 1978 due to recurrent strep throat.Mono when I was 18. I am a non-smoker (always have been)but a regular drinker, 2 glasses a day, usually wine. Occasional seasonal allergies, and a sometimes post-nasal drip. Had a abdominal u/s for upper right quadrant pain in 2004 all was well, pain was determined to be muscoskeletal. Occasional reflux, 1 or 2 times per week, such as after eating if I bend over, rare heartburn.

For the past 2 weeks (no other symptoms)I have noticed a persistant throat pain upon swallowing on the left side of my throat that does seem to radiate to about where I feel my eustatchian tube is, though I am not having what I would consider ear pain. The pain is very much like what happens if you swallow too much liquid at one time. The soreness is only upon swallowing and is not sore when palpated, I cannot discern any masses in my neck, and no swollen lymph nodes. This throat pain does not feel typical, its a rather thick feeling.

Two of my three children have contracted strep in the last 2 weeks. I however do not have a red throat or any white patches.
Since recently a good (older) friend of ours was diagnosed with throat cancer (only symptom was sore persistant sore throat and a lump in his neck)so, obviously Ive nearly convinced myself that this must be the case.

We live in a small town (i.e. no ENT within 2 hours). Do you think I should be concerned about cancer and how should I proceed from here?

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There can be several causes for the persistant sore throat.  Infectious like strep, other bacteria, viruses like EBV (mono), CMV etc. are all possible.  Throat cancer is less likely, but still within the realm of possibility.  

An ENT evaluation would indeed be the best option.  A laryngoscope can be performed to definitvely rule out the possibility of throat cancer.  

You can test for the aforementioned infections.  A neck CT can be considered to image for any masses or lesions.  

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_
4 Comments
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I should also mention that I am on septra ds for a uti..I finish the course in 2 days. Thanks
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Wow, I guess we need to meet.  We have similar symptomology.
39 yo female.  Blindsided by pregnancy (really late) which caused acid reflux, 5 months of vomitting (so much for taking the medicine).  2 years ago went to the ENT dr. and he diagnosed me with esophagitis then because I felt like I had something stuck in the back of my throat all the time.  I am also gravelly voiced.  He said I had cysts on my vocal chords that would have to eventually be removed but didn't seem overly concerned about it.

2 years after the pregnancy the reflux is gone but the throat feeling is back, worse and I sound like my Grandmother.

Any thoughts?  I have an appointment in two days, but I too have a good friend who died of EC recently and am scared whitless.

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Hi, gosh, we do sound similar, I would almost swear my voice has changed somewhat since being pregnant. Well, Im still having pain, only now it has moved to the right side of my throat, and feels more like it is under my tongue, and of course only hurts when I swallow. This is going on 3 weeks now, I went to the local clinic who said, thrush! But no evidence of that, and basically come back if it hurts, I have made an appt with an ENT, but am scared to death. Your dr's dx of vocal cysts, sounds right on, I went to school with a guy who had lots of them and a real gravelly voice. I wouldnt worry too much, one thing about cancer is it isnt stagnant, it continues to grow, so I would watch for worsening or new symptoms. By now you've seen the dr..how did it go?
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Well, the doctor said the cysts have actualy gotten smaller and to keep doing what I am doing....lots and lots of water daily, little to no soda, and little to no coffee.

He saw no need to check the esophagus because he said he saw no new erosion marks and the cysts showed no signs of reflux damage.

So, there ya go.

Hope it helps.

Mel
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