I've been suffering from a sore throat on the right side for about 2 months now and am at a loss for what to do? The pain is mild & daily from morning to night and occasionally travels to my ears. I've also had lingering discomfort on the right side of my groin, and a bit of a loss of apetite. I'm 30 years old and have been a moderate smoker (about 5 cigarettes a day) for 15 years & am a moderate drinker as well. I've been to an internal medicine doctor who gave me antibiotics that didn't work & took a strep throat test & blood test as well as have gone to an ENT who disregarded the general practitioners diagnosis entirely and was convinced I had TMJ for which he prescribed an ice pack & Advil (which also did nothing to alleviate my symptoms). I've read a variety of things online & seem to have frighteningly similar symptoms to those posted for both lymphoma & throat cancer! Any thoughts as to specifics in terms of tests or types of doctors I should see? signed scared
It is difficult to give you any specifics because I don't have a full history and can't examine you, but I will try to give you some suggestions. Cancer is unlikely from what you tell me, but if your symptoms are worsening, or you are getting night sweats, fevers (documented fever), unintentional weight loss, or feel any lumps/masses, you should see your MD again and ask specifically whether this could be a possibility so they can examine/test you appropriately.
TMJ is definitely a possibility, as the TM joint is close to your throat/ears, and commonly radiates. If you have discomfort on opening and closing your mouth, this is more likely. If the pain is in your throat, in that it hurts when you swallow, that makes me think it more likely originates in the throat.
I have no knowledge of the doctors you have seen, but in general, an ENT should be very able to make these diagnoses- this is what they do every day. The Advil and ice can take several days to weeks to really help, so make sure you give it enough of a chance to work before you give up on it. I would continue this treatment plan, and follow up with the ENT if it is not improving- at least then you will have tried their suggestion for a period of time when you follow up and if another diagnosis is likely it will be addressed.
Another suggestion is to see your dentist, as TMJ is often caused/made worse by teeth grinding, malalignment etc. They may be able to give some helpful treament options.
If at any time you are doing worse, or getting the symptoms I initially mentioned I would follow up with your internal medicine physician.
I cannot sign off without telling you to quit smoking. Even 5 cigarettes a day is harmful, and the good news is that you should be able to stop more easily since you are not a heavy smoker.
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