Tonsil cancer is becoming more common in the U.S. People in New Jersey should know a bit about the causes of this cancer and its symptoms. Understanding the risk factors for this disease may help patients be better able to advocate for themselves at the doctor’s office.
The basics of tonsil cancer
The tonsils are located at the back of the throat. They’re linked to the immune system and help people fight off disease. Tonsil cancer has become more common in the West in recent years. Previously seen mostly in smokers over the age of 50, it now seems to be affecting many young people who’ve acquired human papillomavirus.
It can be hard to diagnose tonsil cancer because the symptoms are similar to other common illnesses. For example, symptoms like earache and sore throat can also be indicative of strep throat or sinus infections. Other signs of tonsil cancer can include difficulty swallowing, difficulty tolerating citrus and blood in the saliva. It’s a good idea to consult a doctor should any of these symptoms last more than 14 days.
Risk factors for tonsil cancer
There are several risk factors for developing tonsil cancer. The first is having viruses like HIV and HPV. Smoking and using other tobacco products can be a contributing factor in developing tonsil cancer. High alcohol intake has also been linked to the development of this disease.
Catching it early is key
Diagnosing any cancer early is important. Once a cancer has spread throughout the body, it becomes much more difficult to treat. Doctors should be aware of the increased prevalence of tonsil cancer. If they have a patient presenting with long-term symptoms or they feel unusual lumps in the throat, the doctor should refer them for further testing.
If your tonsil cancer was misdiagnosed or diagnosed late, you may want to contact an attorney. An attorney may be able to help you understand if you have a medical malpractice claim and assess the options for getting damages.