Tonsil Cancer – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

What are tonsils?

tonsil-cancerBefore commencing into the core of tonsil cancer, it is fair enough for you to understand more about them and the root causes of almond carcinoma. They are a group of tissues that are found in the throat region of the human body.

These groups of tissues are also known as lymphoid tissues. The main functions of lymphoid tissues are to protect the body against any kind of infection and that is the reason why it is often observed that the tonsils swells whenever there is any kind of infection.

These tonsils are situated at the back side of the throat.

There are 3 kinds of tonsils that are present in the throat.

  • The pharyngeal tonsil that is present in the back of the throat, palatine tonsils that are present on the sides of the throat and the lingual tonsils that are present near the tongue.

Any kind of infection in these tonsils can cause tonsillitis carcinoma and if the infection persists there is a risk of getting it.

What is tonsil cancer?

causes of tonsil cancerIt is the cancer of the tonsillitis that is caused by abnormal growth of cells in that region. It is caused in the region of the throat and often it is also known as throat diffuse epithelioma.

There are two types of this disease. They are squamous cell carcinoma and lymphomas. In a recent survey, it is found that most of the cases of tonsillitis carcinoma are seen in men than women.

So the risk of disease is more in men than women. The lining tissues of the mouth are one such region where most of the diffuse epithelioma can be seen and it is due to squamous cell carcinoma.

There are many causes of disease that can vary from one person to another. So let’s now find out some of the causes of tonsil carcinoma. Sometimes the question arises such as what does tonsil cancer look like? It generally looks like swelling of the tonsils that can be physically examined by the ENT specialist.


What are the causes?

There are varieties of causes of tonsil cancer. Some of the cases are listed below :

  • It is observed that tonsil carcinoma hpv is one of the major causes. The Human Pappiloma virus is one of the most frequent viruses that affect the person suffering from tonsil stones and later it continues to swell and end up in almond cancer. It can be seen in the tonsillitis carcinoma staging.
  • Smoking is one of the major issues with it. Most of the cases of almond cancer it is seen that people who suffer from tonsil diffuse epithelioytic are a regular smoker.
  • Alcohol is also one cause of it.
  • Smoking and drinking alcohol at a time increases the risk of disease more than doing this alone.
  • Squamous cell carcinomas of the tonsils are one of the factors that cause this disease.



What are the symptoms?

  • Now let’s focus on the tonsil cancer symptoms. There are varieties of symptoms of tonsil carcinoma and these symptoms might be caused due to various diseases. So it is very important to consult an ENT specialist rather than diagnosing yourself. Below are some of the symptoms of tonsillitis cancer –
  • In most of the cases, it is seen that there is a sore on the back of the throat and this particular sore does not heal a long.
  • There are also symptoms like when one tonsil is larger than the other one and this can be confirmed by a physical examination.
  • Tonsils that are painful but not necessarily all tonsillitis diffuse epithelioma would be painful; there are instances when tonsils are not painful but still the patient ends up with carcinoma.
  • Bleeding while coughing because tonsil causes bleeding
  • Bad breathe in most of the cases but it is not an immediate cause of concern as there are varieties of reason for offensive mouths
  • The taste is altered
  • While eating there is a sense of food being getting blocked in the throat
  • Sometime there is a sense of feeling while eating
  • Sometime there is a sense of feeling while talking
  • Sometime there is a sense of feeling while breathing


What is the diagnosis?

There are several types of diagnosis and it depends upon the ENT specialist. One can physically examine the swelling glands and tonsils. A ray or a CT scan can confirm the diagnosis. Specialist often co relates the symptoms with the diagnosis in case of tonsil cancer.


What is the available treatment  ?

There are numerous types of tonsil cancer treatment available. Some of the most popular on are as follows :

This video about tonsil cancer surgery (Radical Tonsillectomy). 3.03 min.  Watch now! 18+




tonsil-surgerySurgery is one type of treatment for tonsil cancer where the tonsils are removed surgically and is known as tonsillectomy. This is when there are severe cases. Also a neck dissection is very much needed in some cases that can remove those tonsillitis.


When the tonsil cancer is in the early stages then radiation therapy is very much useful and sometimes after a surgery radiation therapy is used for complete removal of it. There are several types of radiation used in radiation therapy such as :

  • High-energy X-rays
  • Electron beams
  • Radioactive isotopes


 tonsil cancer treatment availablChemotherapy is a therapy where the high dose chemo is injected into the patient that destroys the cancerous cells. The dose depends upon the severity of the carcinoma. Chemotherapy is administered in the body through the mouth or through the veins.

These doses are given after intervals of time and sometimes radiation therapy is also administered along with chemotherapy.

What are the prognosis and the survival rate?

There are fair chances of curing the diffuse epithelioma, but again it depends on how early it is detected same goes with the survival rate of almond carcinoma.

The more immediate it is detected there is more survival rate. In some cases of tonsil cancer, follicular small cleaved cell lymphoma patient has a life expectancy of average 9 years, while Low grade lymphomas have a life expectancy of average 3 years.


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  • Updated April 15, 2017
Kingsleyk - October 24, 2016

there are tonsil growth in my wife mouth and it may have spread up to the thron of her.
now 4 and 7 month pased
tomorow chemo treatment willstart what your advice inthis regard please

    Smithb4 - March 29, 2018

    You are my inhalation, I have few blogs and sometimes run out from to brand. dbdbadbefgeedgec

Scott - December 19, 2016

I had no idea that one of the symptoms of tonsil cancer was bleeding while coughing. I can see why this would be a cause for huge alarm if this happened to you. It seems like it would be a good idea to research about this should you be noticing something is wrong with your tonsils. Maybe having a doctor look at it just in case would be a good decision as well.

Afshin - December 21, 2016

Hi . I have one year light pain in my left side of my throat lingual I removed my tonsils when I was 18 now I’m 41 any way I seen many Ent all said nothing wrong with my throat fainly I had biopsy and came inflammation with reactive hyperplasia , I had also MRI and normal ,I still have same problem and really worried and keep thinking maybe that HPV or gonna change to dysplasia or lymphoma , old I need your hellp , that is really affect my life .

Nancy - January 14, 2017

I have one enlarged tonsil. Noticed approximately one month ago when it was scraping on the flaps of skin in the back of my mouth. I never looked at it before it scraped so i do not know how long it has been that way. I could not tell you if it grew fast or slow but i have had soreness and infection feeling there for many years off and on. It’s size has receeded enough to not scrape but is still enlarged to the size of a small almond. Another symptom is an inflammed/soreness in my
eustation (sp) tube and now the soreness seems to have mostly settled behind or near my inner ear area. Does this symptom relate to any of the cancers or diagnoses on your site? Or might this symptom point to no more than infection in my tonsil? The tonsil is hard and nothing comes out of it when pushed upon. There is no blood and no other symptoms. It looks like it has two vaguely whiteish lumps.
I have had a physician look at this and she has recommended that i go to an ENT Specialist which i am currently in the process of getting an urgent appointment.
Also i do not understand what your website is saying when stating the number of years. Please explain in laymans language.

Prajay - January 22, 2017

What was that yellow glob on the thumb?

    Lilith - February 24, 2017

    that yellow glob looks like a tonsil stone (not related to tonsil cancer). I have many painful stones just now, but mu doctor says it’s just tonsillitis, and I can take antibiotics and scrape the stones out myself

    g - March 27, 2017

    A tonsil stone

Sasha - April 11, 2017

I have all those symptoms above. My nose blocked and i felt hard to talk, even if i opened my mouth. It really hurts, but this pain always happen, every month. Yesterday i hv fever and the temperatures is high. What should i do now? 😔

    jay - October 26, 2017

    Go to a Doctor.

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CancerEDU - December 11, 2017

Hi there, thank you for the great information. I did have a question though I think you might
be able to help me with. I was wondering, Is Psorinum therapy (a
new cancer treatment) really effective in increasing life expectancy in cancer patients?
If you could provide a little insight I would greatly appreciate it!

Peggy C Mitchell - July 13, 2019


alissa - July 7, 2020

I had my tonsils removed 9 months ago and the last couple days my throat started to hurt on my left side so I took a flashlight to look and i noticed it was reddish and it looks like my tonsil is growing back but just on my left side. it doesn’t hurt anymore the pain went away by the 3rd day but now I’m concerned on why only 1 tonsil is growing back..is this normal?

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