Distinguishing throat cancer from LPR
This is driving me mad...I am 40 year old male with about 18 years history of alcohol, drinking above the recommended levels by a bit. I have had two upper endoscopies and was diagnosed with GERD about 4 years back, confirmed again during the next endoscopy 2.5 years later.
It all started with a sore throat that came after a minor flu which just lasted couple of days. Since then I was feeling throat soreness. I had a course of antibiotics, but it really screwed up my stomach. Had been to two ENTs so far. Both did not bother to do a scope, but did indirect mirror scopy and confirmed that there seem to be swellings in throat and mucous in my throat area. One advised abstinence from alcohol and continuation of PPI (20 mg Omeprezole), the other prescribed 40 mg Nexium instead and asked to see again after a month.
Its been 10 days since Nexium, after the initial sense of well being, the soreness is back with more emphasis since yesterday. Today I also have flu like symptoms, not sure if I am actually getting one that is exaggerating the soreness.
In my heart I am prepared to be at peace with LPR, but what freaks out me is what if it is cancer?
So how do you distinguish between LPR and Throat Cancer? Can the ENTs make an assessment based on what they see? I had gone to the ENT specifically asking if it could be cancer, both put it to GERD and reflux. May be because of my history? So how does a cancerous soreness feel like? Mine seem to be playing hide and seek, it seem to get bearable giving hope of improvement and then it come back again..Is this normal with LPR or cancer? I have changed my lifestyle as best as I can..No alcohol for about a month now, eating lots of vegetables and fruits, has stopped eating before sleeping and finishes dinner by 2-3 hours before. Sleeping with my upper torso perked up on pillows always. Takes Gaviscon prior to sleeping to further stop reflux. In all my life I have never been this concerned about myself and health. Still there seem to be no improvement. Only if I can get the cancer ruled out..
So How do LPR and cancer differ symptomatically? Do you guys think I should go for a laryngoscopy or better upper endoscopy to make sure? My ENT feel I can do endoscopy after the swelling in throat subside as otherwise he think it could pose problems to do endoscopy. Or is it better to wait?
Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!