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Enlarged right tonsil!! Help! Lymphoma at 19?!

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Old 02-22-2014, 07:36 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: England
Posts: 2
hjkplp HB User
Enlarged right tonsil!! Help! Lymphoma at 19?!

Hi there! I'm new to this site

Basically, i'm a 19 year old generally healthy and active female! I don't drink or smoke but i do suffer greatly from health anxiety and particulary concerns about cancer!

Just under two weeks ago i woke up with a very sore throat and happened to look in the mirror and discover my right tonsil to be englarged at the top and a little red! I then went on to develop a very blocked nose, runny nose and a scratchy throat and itchy cough which eventually turned productive - general cold virus symptoms! I didnt think much of the swollen tonsil at first till i realised that the tonsils are in fact part of the lymphatic system, then i began to worry! I've always been obsessive over swollen lypmh nodes after my ex boyfriend developed non-hodgkins lymphoma at the age of 16! Once i made this conncetion i started to panic as my cold symptoms were calming after a week but the tonsil still remained the same! I googled it and all i seem to find is people telling me how abnormal one swollen tonsil is and that it could possibly be a lymphoma! I am quite frankly scared to death! I can eat, sleep or concentrate properly with worry and now i am 100% convinced i have cancer

As it stands my cold is MUCH better but my right tonsil is still swollen and not particulary red. My nose is still relatively blocked, and my right ear still remains itchy (which has been present since i developed otis externa 2 months ago. I took antibiotics but never completely finished the course - which i admit was silly of me!)

I'm just wondering if anyone could shed a little light on what is likely to be the cause of this swollen tonsil and whether it is likely to be anything like a lymphoma. I am hoping to see a doctor next week although i am worried sick of what they might say

Thank you for listening!

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Old 07-04-2014, 11:18 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 49
August59 HB User
Re: Enlarged right tonsil!! Help! Lymphoma at 19?!

Go to your doctor! Being that you had cold symptoms and that they abated over time is a good sign! The tonsil, as you state, is part of the lymphatic system. The tonsils are also prone to bacterial infections rather easy. It's not uncommon for it to be one-sided either. On the side of your neck right beside your tonsil is a rather dominant lymph node. Do a self examination to see if you notice a "lump" that is probably pretty hard, but this is not always the case.

My ENT doctor found my swollen lymph node on my right side by pure chance. He was very concerned that it was lymphoma because I have re-occurring Epstein Barr Virus which is known as catalyst for lymphoma. Bare in mind that I was not even having problems with my tonsils at this point. Took a short course of antibiotics to be precautionary, but they did not have any effect at all on the size of the lymph node. I then had a "Fine Needle Aspiration", which is pretty similar to a very small biopsy, and the technician had to stick me 3 times to try and extract good cells for pathology. Pathology returned a diagnosis of "inconclusive", but as soon as the FNA was performed my right tonsil went into overdrive. I still believe to this day that the FNA provoked the lymph node to leech into the lymph system quicker than normal.

The next step was a "PET-CT Scan" which indicated an uptake in the right tonsil, the swollen lymph node and an adjacent lymph node. I was immediately scheduled for a tonsillectomy (and I was under the impression that the lymph node was coming out too). From the time me ENT doctor found the swollen lymph node to the tonsillectomy was 14 days. My ENT doctor took out both tonsils and took a very wide margin on my right tonsil.

Both tonsils were sent to pathology and the right one was definitely malignant. It wasn't lymphoma though, but instead a "Squamous Cell Carcinoma". The culprit for this particular cancer was the Human Papiloma Virus - Type 16. this is in fact a good thing because any cancer containing these cells practically melt with radiation therapy. I had 37 sessions without any chemotherapy and I have been cancer free for the last 1 1/2 years and will have my last scan in October of 2014.

First and foremost you should go to see your doctor or preferably an ENT specialist and be evaluated and if needed proceed if recommended testing. Procrastination is not a good thing to do when cancer could possibly be involved1

Wishing you the best of luck!

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