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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

White Cyst Near Tonsil

08/10/2009

Question:

I have a small, visible white cyst on my throat, near my left tonsil. The ENT can feel a lump in a nearby lymph node. A CT scan showed no mass, no enlarged nodes.

I`ve had a sore throat for months with very tender lymph nodes under my jaw. The pain goes into my left ear, and my left jaw has started to feel a little numb or puffy.

I`m a 49-year-old female with a history of basal cell carcinoma (forehead at 46) and stage 1 melanoma (left posterior thigh at 48).

Should I ask for an MRI of my throat? Or a biopsy of the little cyst? I want to avoid a tonsillectomy if possible, but I`m concerned about squamous cell or other cancer.

Help! Thanks for being there.

Answer:

Unfortunately it is not possible to provide you with specific advice for your condition. Given your concern, however, it is certainly reasonable to pursue this further with your ENT physician. If he/she is concerned about the possibility of cancer, a biopsy or tonsillectomy would the most definitive way to rule this out. This should be followed by your ENT physician for further recommendations. 

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Response by:

Amit  Agrawal, MD Amit Agrawal, MD
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University