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Avatar universal

Bumps of various sizes on the back of my throat, behind uvula

Hello I'm currently 19 years old.  I've been smoking weed for the past 4ish years on a fairly regular basis (1-2 spliffs w/ 10% tobacco, 90% marijuana). Before I go into what's scaring me I'd like to mention that I've been going through serious anxiety issues lately and have never worried the way I currently am over a physical illness.

Anyways, about 2 days ago I woke up with a horrible sore throat. I only slept for 3 hours, and to the best of my knowledge I had no sore throat proir to going to bed. I had smoked earlier in the night using a vaporizer (something i rarely do) as well as a spliff. I examined my throat in the mirror (something I've never really done before) and noticed that the back of my throat had various sized fleshy bumps (by fleshy I mean the same color as a healthy throat). Directly behind my uvula was a bump slightly larger than the others but similar in color. They are scattered over the back of my throat and clearly visible when I shine a light into my mouth and yawn. I also feel slighty sick... while I don't have a fever I just feel a little ill, weak, and have a slightly smaller appetite than usual. I've had the same sexual partner for years, there is no possibility of an STD.

I would like to know if this is something to seriously worry about or something that will likely go away in a few days. Thanks, I'm extremely worried and anxious over this.
29 Responses
Avatar universal
BTW the primary thing worrying me is that it's an early form of cancer..
125112 tn?1217273862
My best guess would be a "cobblestone" throat. What causes this, you'll have to do an online search. If memory serves me right, this isn't much to worry about but it wouldn't hurt to get checked by a general physician.
Let's just say, I'd be very suprised if it were anything serious.

As for your first statement, trust me...A-LOT of people have or do feel this way. It is from anxiety. Either a health worry brings it out or the anxiety brings out worry of health.

You may be feeling "icky-pooey" because you are coming down with something...of little concern. Just get it checked out for peace of mind. Again, I would be suprised if it was anything other than minor.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the response it does make me feel slightly more secure.. However what has really started to bug me is the fact that right behind my uvula is a bump significantly larger than the others. I can only see it when I "yawn" and raise my uvula up... The total size is about 1/4inch by 1/10inch and it is a fairly similar color to the flesh in my throat... It's not quite as red as the others but its significantly larger. Does anyone have any idea what could cause such a thing? It really looks mostly like a swollen gland or  something but I'm really worried that it's something much more serious, such as cancer or a tumor.

Any other input would be appreciated.. this anxiety is incredibly painful I really wish offices were open tomorrow :(
125112 tn?1217273862
Still it doesn't sound worrisome to the extent that you are worrying about it.

A "bug" or irritation can be causing it. I've experienced these and have wondered if post nasal drip or reflux kind of "fire" them up.

If you want to be absalute certain, how about making an appointment with an ENT or Oral surgeon. It's the only way you will feel confident in knowing what is and is not going on.

If "ailments" send you into panick (thinking the worst), you may want to look into "health anxiety."

Avatar universal
i have the same thing , this cobblestone throat where i feel slightly ill, but i feel like i might be allergic to smoking because last night i smoked a black and my throat got much worse, so i refuse to smoke anymore because when i don't smoke and i take care of myself, then and take an advil i feel fine but i only saw this a week ago does anybody know how to make it go away
Avatar universal
i have the same thing in the back of MY throat but without the sickness feelings and all that other stuff. i was worried about it being throat cancer as well.

i have one larger bump like you in the center of my throat and various small ones, but im not sick all the time, or any of the time for that matter, but i do smoke kretek's (clove cigarettes) which made me concerned about a tumor..

anyone have any input?
Avatar universal
Has anyone gotten any answers about this stuff? I also have the same problems & then some. Quit smoking, scared I'm dying & no one around here is smart enough to figure it out, so, I'm to the point of leaving it all in Gods hands, since he is the best doctor, considering he made everyone of us. Does anyone have any advice or have you gotten answers from visiting doctors where you are from?
Avatar universal

So I am 16 and have recently got the same thing and spent a lot of time freaking out. It was the worst sore throat I had ever had and I had some heart burn after about I had the sore throat for a week. After loosing ten pounds I decided to go to the doctor. She said it was a virus and put me on antibiotics just incase. NOTHING HAPPEND after finishing the antibiotics I felt worse and was even more worried. I then proceeded to go to another doctor after thinking I had cancer from these stupid websites. He immediately new what was wrong after he looked in my throat. I have GE reflux from smoking (every day may I add). The hot smoke irritates the esophagus and that makes acid come up and irritates your throat or something like that. This really does sound exactly like my problem and I have been taking acid reflux meds and have chilled out on the smoking and I feel great. You really need to see a doctor just incase it is something else and GE reflux can get worse and cause other things. GOOD LUCK and chill with the smoking and don’t drink for a while(if you do)

And if you do have reflux hang in there it will get better
Avatar universal
Oh my god! I am so happy in away that I found this board! I was 100% sure I had cancer or something, i totally freaked out and have not ate for days! I went to the doctor who was pretty useless because he said he couldnt see anything down my throat (he hardly looked). I am to scared to go back again cause I will look a bit silly plus im pretty scared.

Anyhow, At the very back of my throat, in the centre, but like a bit down on the back wall i have 2 raised bumps which are heathly throat coloured, but when I swallow they turn white and the healthy colour slowly come back in seconds.. Theres a larger one lower and right by it there is a smaller one, sometimes i wake up and they are more reddish but throughout the day they go back to normal. I think I may have this cobblestone throat. They do not hurt at all, and I dont have a sore throat... Sometimes it feels strange when I swallow but I think Im just being paranoid. Ive freaking so bad about this! Thinking it was HIV, Cancer or something! I dunno, Its scared me so much!

Also, to add to peoples research and theorys... I used to smoke for like 5months, I stopped for 1 months and last week I started again! I went out on Friday Night and bummed like 5 ciggies off random people (All different makes including some mint cigs which tasted like ****) I smoke weed every so often but aint smoked it for a few weeks, anyhow.... I look in the mirror on Sunday and I notice them!!!!

Hope this helps people, I feel 50% better now reading this board! Im gonna wait a few days and I may go back and see another doctor and tell him about my findings on the net!!
Avatar universal
Sorry guys, need to add to my post above.
The best way to describe the little bumpy spots at the back of my throat is like a Stinging Nettle sting? I dunno what you guys call them in America or around the world but In England we have Stining Nettles which if you touch the points on the plant they sting you, and your skin has little stops that raise up a bit bit, its looks like more of a stinging nettle sting in my throat
Avatar universal
i recently got this problem and i can tell you yes it is from smoking. i smoked weed everyday at least 3 times a day along with cigs and had no problem for a year until now. yes it did scare me thinking it was cancer or something and i developed anxiety which gave me chest pains, throat pressure, the works. doctor looked at me said i was fine in the throat just a little irritated from smoking and gave me a strep throat test(negative). a week went by before i was feeling better, tried smoking again to test it and in minutes back to massive pain which took a few days to go away. i do however feel like my tonsoles (or however you spell it) are very irritated and i may have developed a problem there as well.

i wouldn't stop eating over worrying about it, it'll just cause more problems, i recommend having an ENT doctor look at anything that does concern you but again relax if you have anxiety like i do.

i didn't mention i am 18 and started college so stress does have a factor in all this i believe as well. im gonna look in to the acid reflux cause, i do believe that may be the problem.

ill post again with any news or fixes i find, maybe it'll help others. best of luck to all of you.
Avatar universal
I took my son sto a specialist yesterday and he said that it could be caused by acid reflex or allergies.  He has given him medicine for acid reflex and allergy medicine.
Avatar universal
hey i feel you. i have cobble stone throuahght and im pretty sure its from smpoke. like you i am 19,smoke weed every day and smoke cigartess alot. spliffs are the **** > ; ) . what bothers me is the anxiety. it really does blow and i take ad medication and it make it worse when i come down. anxiety *****, and it makes me do stupid crazu things, but the summer is soo . that will relax me. lets get massages.
Avatar universal
I've never smoked and the doc said I have cobblestone throat. I have two good size bumps in my throat. One the size of an eraser of a pencil, that's good size. The doc said nothing to worry about but Im thinking what if they get bigger. They came from no where and with out warning( no sore throat) I feel like I always have something in my throat now.
Avatar universal
I am also having problems with my throat and have lumps on my uvula as well as pain further back and feeling of having a swollen tongue. I was wondering if anyone ever got a definate diagnosis? I too suffer from anxiety which I am doing something about and am four weeks into CBT to tackle my health anxiety problem. Ive got myself convinced that Ive got the start of throat cancer and the ongoing lumpy feeling when I swallow doesnt help to alleviate my fears. My doctor said that although the lumps arent normal theyre not anything that looks worryingly abnormal. Ive got an ENT appointment next week which I am counting down the days to as I just want someone to tell me whats in my throat and how to get rid of it. It feels like there is a hair stuck in the back of my throat constantly. Has anyone found anything that gets rid of the feeling of discomfort?
966327 tn?1248023356
Well it seems that there are alot of us that are suffering from this problem.
I have recently developed "cobblestone" in the back of my throat(around 3weeks). I too have the feeling of like a hair stuck down in my throat. It triggered two panic attacks and has caused me to lose around 18lbs. It has affected my desire for food, even my favorites like Chinese, pizza, burgers..everything..I eat because I know I have to not because I'm hungry, and I find I'm eating only foods that are easy to swallow. It's interesting to note that a lot of people with this affliction also have anxiety disorders including myself. I have seen two different Dr.s one was a walk in ProMed (waste of money and time) and the other was a Family Health Center (much better). I currently have no health insurance so my options are limited. Interesting enough that both times I was explaining everything to the Dr's they both got really focused on the panic attacks. The Dr at ProMed looked me over so quick it left me wondering if anyone gets a good diagnosis there. He prescribed Xanax for anxiety. but it wasn't until after I felt this obstruction in my throat that the anxiety set in. I could understand being prescribed Xanax if I had anxiety AND THEN felt the obstruction in my throat. One interesting thing the 2nd doctor said to me was,"People (like me) that are sensitive or have anxiety from congestion tend to be over perceptive when even the slightest obstruction is felt in the throat or air passage.") and that because of the over perceptiveness we tend to concentrate too much on it amplifying the feeling. It was the 2nd Dr. that noticed the cobblestoning in my throat and has me on a tapering dose of prednisone to help reduce any swelling. I have taken two days worth, I must admit it so far has done nothing to reduce the feeling of something being stuck in my throat or the cobblestoning. I like many on this post and other posts for the same problem have gone through the whole "am I going to die from this?" feeling. One thing the 1st Dr. did was run a basic CBC, which is a blood draw to check basic blood chemistry. If I had some infection my white blood cell count would have been high but there were no abnormalities.(Hoorah!) The second Dr. after seeing the cobblestoning also opted to do blood work but instead of a basic CBC, drew 4 test tubes of blood to be send off for a multitude of tests...(that actually made me feel better!) I do not yet have the results back but If anything does show up abnormal I will post it here. Any info you find out from your ENT visit would be greatly appreciated. If you find your self burping more often these days don't worry about that. If like me your constantly trying to swallow to get that "stuck thing" to go down, your just swallowing more air than normal which will cause burping..Good luck to everyone dealing with this, I hope we all get well soon. I have been needing to loose weight but not uncontrolled like this..
Avatar universal
Hi there Stro512. Just wanted to update you on the ENT appointment and hopefully give you some reassurance. I paid privately for the ENT appointment which I attended last night as I just couldn’t bear the thought of waiting weeks for an NHS appointment (I’m in the UK). I got the fright of my life when the consultant pulled out a camera on a cord and told me he was going to stick it up my nose and down my throat there and then. He then invited my husband to have a look at my vibrating vocal cords which was interesting!! Actually it wasn’t as bad as it sounds and I got instant reassurance! The upshot was that there is absolutely nothing abnormal in my throat. The only thing he did say is that I have small shrunken tonsils with lots of crypts which apparently cause more problems than larger ones and that some people have them removed but he wouldn’t recommend it. He advised me to clean any food debris from the tonsils with a soft brush. (yuck).  I also don’t drink enough fluid and often have a very dry throat.  I don’t have reflux or post nasal drip like my doctor thought and he didn’t mention anything about cobblestoning which I am assuming is an American term but he did see the bumps on my uvula which he said were just a variation of normal. Apparantly they have been caused by excessive coughing and throat clearing which I am aware that I do quite a lot. Apparantly this leaves marks like scarring on the back of the throat. I was left with the impression that they may or may not go away but I have to make a conscious effort not to clear my throat or cough to stop it from getting any worse. ( He also said something like bonjela may give some relief if i felt it necessary). This probably explains why people of a nervous or anxious disposition get this thing because I am very much aware that the throat clearing is a nervous habit of mine and yes I do burp a lot because of the constant swallowing. What you said about magnifying symptoms was really interesting because I ended up in A&E last week hyperventilating because I was convinced I had a blockage in my throat and couldn’t get breath. Since i’ve had my ENT appointment I don’t feel that lump at all anymore. I do still have the stuck hair feeling but it doesn’t really bother me now because I know its harmless. Its just more of a nuisance that I notice every so often only when I think about it. I haven’t been near the mirror to examine my throat with the torch and dental mirror since the appointment either which was something I spent a lot of time doing previously. The mind definitely does some scary things and fear is a horribly crippling thing which does a good job of sapping all of your energy for anything else. In my experience it’s also something that some doctors (but not all of them) and people in general don’t have a lot of sympathy for which is a shame because sometimes a bit of understanding, reassurance and an explanation goes a long way towards stopping the fear in its tracks before it spirals out of control. Luckily, I have a good doctor who has helped me through this. I am currently seeing a psychologist to undergo cognitive behaviour therapy because I don’t want to teach my kids this affliction of mine (ironic as I am studying psychology myself). If you can I would recommend you ask your doctor to get the camera thing done if only to give you some reassurance and closure on this but I am sure after my own experience and reading about others that this is down to an anxiety problem and not anything serious. I’m very much aware now that when i’m anxious my throat tenses up and feels restricted. Having had it checked I can recognise that now whereas last week I would have thought I had throat cancer! I would also recommend speaking to your doctor to get some help tackling the anxiety as well. Ive denied the anxiety thing for a long time but now having finally confronted it I am finding that its less scary out in the open than in my head and you’d be surprised by how many people suffer. On a final note which made me feel better my doctor told me that the people who suffer from health anxieties like us do a lot more thinking than the average person because we are just too intelligent for our own good! Good luck and I hope things get better as I am sure they will.  
Avatar universal
Me again. I just wanted to add that I dont mean to downplay your symptoms as all anxiety related. Its just in my experience physical symptoms become worsened by anxiety and minor things seem much bigger than they actually are to an anxious person. In the past ive also been frustrated by doctors who have focussed on my anxiety rather than the physical complaint. Ive had quite a few minor things over the last year and have had all sorts of investigations. Along the way I was always irritated by the fact that my doc always felt it necessary to mention that I suffer from anxiety and I always felt that my symptoms were dismissed as a result. In hindsight however I can see that my anxiety problem actually compounded the health problems Ive had and my reaction to physical symptoms was way out of proportion to what was actually wrong. Ive put myself through all sorts of tests and investigations at my own expense to reassure myself and its only now in hindsight that I can see that they werent actually required. Its taken me a long time to accept that the anxiety is just that. So from that point of view I think it's important to not only tackle the physical symptoms but to also deal with the anxiety problem at the same time to prevent it from spiralling.  
966327 tn?1248023356
Thanks so much for the update....My next Dr.s appointment is scheduled for the 3rd. That's when my blood work results are due back. I have been trying to find a way to see an ENT that will not charge me and arm and leg. I have on medical insurance, so it is difficult finding somewhere to go.  I am trying to keep my mind busy on other things to try and forget about this feeling in my throat, but it's not easy. I tend to feel it more just after eating. I was pleased to hear that your appointment went well. For the past two nights I have taken a quarter dose of the Xanax (for Anxiety) to help me sleep. I think it has helped a little, today I had more energy than previous days. I'll take another quarter dose tonight. I just want to get over this and feel like myself again, the way I did just 4weeks ago. Your response was greatly appreciated, thank you again. Take Care.
Avatar universal
I am a 33 years old female.  I have one big cobblestone in the middle of my throat.  I can see it when I look inside my mouth with a flashlight.  I was very worried that this is a sign of cancer.  I can hear the cracks inside my neck every time I rotate my head.  I went to American doctor and he gave me Acid Reflux Prescription, but I still feel like there's something stuck in my throat.  The medication did help with my problem of keeping the food stay inside my stomach and not flowing back up my throat.  However, I still feel like there's something stuck in there.  So I went to a Chinese doctor and even Accupunture to help cure my neck pain because it was getting worse.  I was a weed and crack smoker and an E-tard also....but I quit all that about 3 years ago.  I was worried that those street drugs may be the cause of my throat problem.  The doctor assured me that smoking is not the cause of getting a cobblestone in my throat.  Doctors told me that it's fine and having a cobblestone in my throat is not abnormal.  I tried to listen to him and ignore the cobblestone....but it's bothering me now everyday when I wake up in the morning, I feel the pain in the back of my neck.  I went to the capitation specialist to check my throat.  What he did was I believed he spray lidocaine in my nose to numb my nose...then he insert a tube inside my nose to take a look inside my throat....again, the specialist said everything is fine. Nothing to worry about. It still bothers me now that I don't eat and sleep well.....If anybody finds a cure or a way to get rid of this cobblestone, I would be so thankful.
966327 tn?1248023356
It is frustrating seeing Dr. after Dr. only for them to tell you "Everything looks normal." When for us obviously everything is not normal. I'm still awaiting blood work results and even if they come back "normal" I'm still going to try and see and ENT to have my throat looked at with a scope. It's hard for me because I got sick while unemployed and no medical insurance, but I'm not giving up. This feeling in my throat (since end of June) has really weighed heavy on my psyche. Hope some Dr. out there finds relief for us who suffer (and i do mean suffer) from this ailment. Your not alone.
Avatar universal
Guys, try not to get disheartened. The bumps on my uvula are still there too and like you Stro Ive had them about 4 weeks. I had a particularly nasty flu/cold type thing just before it happened so i'm still hopeful that maybe thats maybe what caused it and that it might go away eventually. The tube down the nose thing that the other poster talked about was what I got and although I agree my throat doesnt feel normal like it did before, they must see this kind of thing a lot and if it was anything serious they wouldnt just ignore it. It would be more than their job was worth to do that. Ive also been really irritated  in the past with docs who focus on my anxiety and not the problem in hand. However I beleive there is a reason for that. Its not that theyre ignoring the symptoms but I think they temper the way they speak to anxious people so as not to reinforce that something might be wrong and cause more distress. The word normal gets used a lot I believe to keep things calm. On one horrible occasion last year I got scanned for stomach pains and the obstetrician who didnt know about my anxiety told me that I had an "abnormal pelvic mass" and would need to get a "cancer test". I ended up in A&E with a heart rate of 200 beats a minute and narrowly avoided an injection into my heart to stop and restart it. It was horrific and all I had was a cyst which wasnt abnormal at all! So now I would much rather just hear "normal" until such time as I need to worry. Stro maybe you should talk to your doctor and explain that the feeling in your throat is causing you excessive anxiety and they might be able to push something along for you. My doc did when I was worrying about my "abnormal pelvic mass". She told me at the time she was sure everything was ok but because of my anxiety she arranged for me to get a laparoscopy much sooner to stop me from panicking about it. Hope you get some resolution soon. Take care everyone.
Avatar universal
Omgoshhh I'm sooo happy I found this webpage you guys are the best!!! I seriously thought I was the only person in the world going through the same thing. I too have bumps in the back of my throat. One big one on the sidwe of where my tonsils use to be and two smaller ones on the bottom of it. It also looks like I have a bunch of little ones on the other side of where my tonsil use to be but they look very different. I also have what appears to be a white scratch which a dentist thought was a lesion and inflamation. But none of which hurt. Doctors have told me it looks viral, a nurse told me it looks like the following: cobblestone, scar tissue of when I removed my tonsils, or it's always been there. A nurse even told me it might be an ulcer due to stress but I thought ulcers hurt. I do get the feeling like it's harder to swallow and it tenses up feeling like it hurts sometimes but it go's away...HELPPP ME DIAGNOSEE!!!  My biggest fear is that it could be cancer or oral HPV =(
Avatar universal
You'll probably find that the more people you see the more diagnoses you'll end up with. My dentist said "viral" my doc said "either post nasal drip or reflux" and ENT consultant said none of the above and that i have cryptic tonsils and scarring due to throat clearing neither of which are anything to worry about. I would go see an ENT and stick with what they say as thats their specialty and they'll have inspected the most throats and know what looks worrying and what doesnt. Then forget about it and don't do what I did as follows:

After all my positive words the other week and even having noticed feeling better after getting reassurance I went and ruined it all by rummaging around in my mouth again with various imlements just to check. I have been habitually checking and poking at my throat for the last week and made things worse again. My homework from the psychologist was to only check my throat twice a day for this week. Failed miserably!  More like a dozen times. I got myself so convinced that the bumps were getting bigger that I ended up phoning the ENT and have been back there this evening (at more expense) and had my throat thoroughly checked out again. I went over all my concerns about throat cancer and practically argued with the man as I was sure he wasnt seeing what I was seeing. He actually put a camera into my mouth and showed me on a tv screen and talked me through it all with diagrams. He again said that the only problem I have is that I have cryptic/buried tonsils and also have a long pointy uvula (nice!) He didnt say anything about cobblestoning. Apparantly with cryptic tonsils bits of food get trapped in the throat which can cause sensations in the back of the throat and uvula bit of the mouth as theyre all connected. He said that some people have their tonsils removed or even have the uvula removed to get rid of the feeling but this isnt something he recommends. He very assertively told me that my uvula is just a variation of normal and I definately dont have cancer. He then practically repeated what my own doc said about intelligent people overthinking situations and being too introspective. I'm taking this as a compliment but also wishing I was really thick so then I wouldnt worry so much!!  Anyway the upshot is that my throat is ok and I should just gargle with warm salty water to keep my tonsils clean. I also have to stop checking stuff as all that does is make things seem bigger in my head than they actually are.
So here's my advice for what its worth, see an ENT and prepare questions before hand. If youre worried about cancer tell them that and dont leave until you feel reassured. Then keep reminding yourself of what they said and if you get worries creeping into your head and feel the urge to check things out again try to resist and find something else to do. Meddling makes things worse. At least thats what I'm going to try to do now anyway but I dare say I'll find something else to worry about next week.

Stro512, I hope that your bloods all came back ok and that youve had some success with an ENT and that things are looking up for you.

Wishing everyone the best.
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