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#201080 12-13-2021 10:34 AM
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 1
AsterGW Offline OP
OP Offline

Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 1
Hi, all, this is my first time posting on the forum.

I'm currently seeing an ENT for a swollen tonsil, swollen lingual tonsil, and swollen lymph nodes all on my right side.

I've had an ultrasound of my lymph nodes and they're "reactive but generally normal size", though they're fairly harder than I'd like.

My ENT currently suspects it's a bad infection, due to a 3d xray showing a huge mucus plug in my sinus. They did a laryngoscopy and noted my slightly swollen lingual tonsils, which my spouse thought I was crazy for noticing earlier.

I have a blood test tomorrow to rule out viruses etc. I was given a mouth wash to use daily until my followup.

However I'm struggling with knowing how much to tell my ENT in terms of things changing. Theres a small red dot now on my tonsil, where before there was not, and I dont want to sound alarmist or anxious, though I am terribly anxious about all of this.

I'm nearly 28, but I have a family history of cancer and I was immunocompromised as a child and early teen.

My ENT overall suggested a tonsillectomy would be in my future, and I want ot make sure they biopsy my lymph node before the tonsillectomy, in order to not have a surprise diagnosis afterward.

I guess I'm here looking for support, overall.

Thank you kindly for getting through this post.


Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,790
Likes: 13
OCF Founder
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)
OCF Founder
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,790
Likes: 13
This is a story we hear far too often. ENT's that are not in the subspecialty of their type of medicine that actually sees cancer patients, often do not get - that in a differential diagnosis, the first thing to eliminate is the one that is most dangerous, cancer. So they go through a litany of things that MOST of their patients have, looking for bacterial infections, viral issues, and more. This too often is a big waste of important time, when the first thing to eliminate from the differential diagnosis is the thing that can kill a patient, cancer. That can be done through a simple fine needle biopsy, and the pathologist will give them a black and white answer as to what it is. All this other stuff that your post mentions, that is delaying getting THE answer that you want eliminated for the potential problems. If it isn't cancer, great now they can spend their time chasing what is cause the non lethal problem that you have and correcting it.

I suggest that if you want this particular doctor to continue this pursuit, that you allow him to, AFTER HE HAS DONE A FINE NEEDLE BIOPSY OF THE IMPACTED AREAS, INCLUDING THE NODES INVOLVED AND THE TONSIL. It is important that you are your own strong advocate for early definitive diagnosis.

Brian, stage 4 oral cancer survivor. OCF Founder and Director. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.

Moderated by  Brian Hill 

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