Good thoughts and reassurances needed. Cancer maybe?

Last Wednesday, I got a sore throat. No big deal, I thought, it’s a cold. Over the next two days it got worse. It was very painful to swallow and the pain shot up to my ear. Advil, Tylenol, sore throat drops, etc. did nothing to help.

On Saturday morning, I went to one of those urgent care places, since my regular doctor isn’t open on weekends. The doctor there told me that I probably had a bacterial thing, gave me a prescription for amoxicillin and sent me home. Later that afternoon, everything I tried to eat, including the pills, were coming back up. I wasn’t nausus, it was more like nothing would even go all the way down.

After I went to bed on Saturday night, I woke up in pain and throwing up, dry heaving at least 5 times. These spells left me gasping for air and shaking. I also had a fever of 101.3.

By Sunday morning, my husband told me I looked awful, I still had a fever, I was lightheaded and he insisted that I go to the emergency room.

We got there at about 7:00 A.M. At first, the ER doctor thought it might just be a nasty bug going around, then I described to him that it felt likt there was a big ball of something hanging in the back of my throat. He sent me for an X-Ray of my neck, looked at it and asked me if I was a smoker. I told him yes and asked if he thought it could be cancer. He said not to worry about it, “yet”. So of course, I’m worried.

Then he sent me for a cat scan of my neck looked at the results and told me it was a pharynx abscess. He gave me an antibiotic and a painkiller in an IV. After that he told me to follow up with a specialist on Monday and gave me a prescription for Tylenol with codene and augmentin. I said to the doctor “I guess this is a good time to quit smoking, huh?” He said “No, this has nothing to do with it.” which shocked me. I am quitting anyway. I have to say, the doctor never said cancer.

When I got home, I felt much better. I am not throwing up anymore and even without taking the painkiller, I’m not in a lot of pain, so the new antibiotic is working.

But that word, cancer, is scaring the shit out of me. My best friend is paranoid and just when I started to feel better about it, she scared me again. I looked up the symptoms of throat cancer and very few of them are what I had. When I did a search of pharynx abscess symptoms, it seems like more of what I have.

I called the ear, nose and throat doctor today, like I was supposed to and he’s seeing me tomorrow. I asked the receptionist over the phone if it could be cancer and she said that she couldn’t tell, I asked her again and she told me that the doctor would be able to tell what was going on after the examination tomorrow. So, now, I wait.

But, I am so worried. If it was cancer would the antibiotics make me feel so much better ? Would the symptoms be so different from what I felt ? My throat doesn’t hurt at all anymore, my ear still hurts a little and my fever is gone. I’m not throwing up anymore either.

Can someone tell me something to make me stop worrying ? Please!

The symptoms you describe are consistant with an abcess, not cancer. Abcesses can be treated very effectively with antibiotics.

A cat scan has been done that would show if there was any growths. None were seen

Your symptoms are resolving with antibiotic treatmeent. Cancerous growths do not usually respond so quickly if at all to antibiotic treatment.

So, all that combined leaves me comfortable saying, “relax. You are going to be just fine. There is nothing to be accomplished by worrying yourself sick”.

Now go have a popsicle.

Definitely doesn’t sound like cancer, although take Mermaid’s (a nurse) word over mine.

But don’t let this stop you from quitting - you never know about next time.

IANAD, but cancer schmancer. I doubt it.

Consider this your wake-up call, though. Next time it might be a big ball of something on your lung, and that’d be bad.

hands dragongirl a grape popsicle

I agree with the “relax” and think positive theory.

I am somewhat of a hypochondriac. Once, I had something in my throat…a lump…and I could feel it and it hurt and I was sure it was cancer, I was sure I had only months to live and I was sure it was all over.

I hesistated going to a doctor for two weeks. Finally it hurt so bad I made an appointment for the following day.

That night, I had a major coughing fit and boom…the “cancer” was in my hand.
A half of a peanut that had lodged in my throat for weeks!

It was an instant cure! The lump was gone, I could breath easier, and all was good with the world.

From the sounds of it, you got an infection and some good antibiotics should do the trick. But let the doc tell ya after he has done the check up.

Advice FROM a chronic worrier who mentally turns every little cough or lump into the disease that will be named for me: Relax. Take care of yourself. Do what the doctor says. And yes, let this little scare be your impetus to quit smoking. You’ll be so glad you did.

And good luck with your ABSCESS. :slight_smile:

Relax, get better, and quit smoking. Not necessarily in that order.

Having been EXACTLY in your shoes myself, let me just reassure you that an abcess in the throat is definitely scary, but can usually be treated with antibiotics. I say “usually” only because mine was so bad it had to be aspirated (which was not fun, but was also not the end of the world.)

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to quit smoking, though. I regret that once my throat felt better, I went back to smoking pretty quickly :wally:

something similar we are going through now.

Husband went in to get his appendix removed, but they found cancer as well.

we go thursday to a cancer hospital to see if it spread.

joy joy.

Take it easy and drink lots of fluids, and get absolutely pampered :wink: You will be fine–this will heal soon, and you’ll be back on your feet in no time.

Also, Smoking Is Very Bad For You. But you know that already. g

I am sorry to hear your news - I’m glad to hear you are quitting smoking!

Sending warm thoughts your way, get better soon.

Please quit smoking regardless of the throat situation. Statistically, you are much more likely to live longer and with better health if you quit. Your lungs will love it!

  1. Cancer doesn’t grow that fast. IANAD, but with my family’s history of cancer, a Dad who worked in a hospital for 15 years (buyer), and a doctor sisinlaw, I know.

  2. Abscesses do, and since it’s responding to the antibiotic you’ll be fine in no time.

  3. Gratz on quitting. That same Dad? (heck, the only one I had) 40 years making fun of lung cancer statistics, then went and took 3 more years to die… of lung cancer. It sucked, and I don’t mean smoke.

  4. sends good vibes to WomanofScorn, wondering if she is related to a guy she used to know, whose nick was Scorn

It is always a good time to quit smoking.

Hope you feel better soon.

Not to preach, but that’s probably the best health-related decision you’ve made in a while. Good on ya.