Oncology (General Cancer)/Nasal and throat endoscopy


I saw my ENT on Friday because I have been having the feeling of something in my throat. I had a lymph node removed a few months ago and it was benign and reactive. The node was 2 cm. I am having the same symptoms as I did before the biopsy and on the same side. There is not a papiable node but I can feel a lump when I swallow and move my neck. The ENT did an endoscopy through my nose. I pointed out to him on the same side the right side when my tongue is depressed and my throat moves in and out there looks like a lump in the area below my tonsil in my throat. It is similar on the left side just not as large . My question is would the ENT been able to see the sides of my throat below my tonsil with the endoscopy? When I asked him if he saw anything he just said that my opening of the esphogius was swollen and inflamed. He said that I had reflux. The strange thing is I haven't really had any symptoms of reflux since I was pregnant which my daughter is 1 now. So I guess if there was a lump on the side of my throat below the tonsil area would it be visible? Should I be concerned that I have swollen and inflamed esphougis? He also said the reflux could cause swollen lymph nodes is that true? Should I be worried?

ANSWER: Your ENT could see all the areas of your throat through the endoscope.  He is saying that you have signs of reflux, but that's just one possibility; you may also have a viral sore throat or something like that.  I don't know if the lump could be seen from inside; sometimes it can't.  Reflux can cause local lymph nodes to be inflamed.  Give the situation a little time; if you do have reflux, you might try taking an over the counter medication like omeprazole for a week or so.  Hope this helps.  

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QUESTION: When I depress my tongue I can see a lumpy area on the right side of my throat below my tonsils. This spot moves in and out when I move my throat so unassuming its just normal tissue and muscles in my throat. Since I can see it when I look in my mouth with a flash light would this be visible to my ENT when he did the scope? Surely if there was anything concerning there he would have noticed it and said something? I just want to be sure if this lump is something Incan then he should have also right? What do you mean not all lumps can be seen?

ANSWER: If you have a lump on the outside of your neck which you can feel, that doesn't mean it can be seen from inside your throat.  However, if you can see it with a flashlight, so can your ent see it with an endoscope.  If he didn't say anything that alarmed you, I would not worry for now.  

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QUESTION: I can see the area in my throat with a light. I think it may just be normal tissue it looks normal color but when I move my throat it bulges in and out. I did tell my ENT to look at it and I guess he did. When I asked him if it was normal he just said my throat looked swollen and inflamed and it was swollen and inflamed around the esphogus! He didn't seem concerned. He put me on medicine twice a day and to come back in a month or two if its not any better. Can anything serious like cancer cause swelling and inflammation around the opening of the esphogous ?

Your ENT is in a much better position to answer these questions, since he has actually looked at the tissues.  I don't think it sounds like cancer.  I agree that the best thing to do would be to try the medications (which are probably in the category of acid reducers) and see what happens.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

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