Tonsil cancer, which falls under the category of head and neck cancers, is becoming increasingly common. The tonsils, which protect the body from bacteria and viruses that enter the mouth, are more likely to develop cancer if a person suffers from a human papillomavirus infection. The National Institutes of Health has said that a rise in HPV infections may be to blame for the rise in tonsil cancer cases. Perhaps someone you know in West Virginia has it.
Other risk factors in tonsil cancer
HIV patients, smokers and heavy drinkers are also more likely to develop tonsil cancer. Most tonsil cancer patients used to be men over 50 years old, but there has been an increase in younger patients who do not smoke yet have the cancer and are HPV-positive.
Symptoms and the diagnosis process
Tonsil cancer patients may experience numerous symptoms, including a long-term soreness of the throat, an actual sore at the back of the throat and difficulty chewing and swallowing. They may also spit out blood with their saliva, suffer from earaches or lose weight for no discernible reason. The symptoms may resemble those of strep throat or tonsillitis.
It’s usually a specialist who diagnoses tonsil cancer, but patients would need to be referred to one by their doctor. The tests that could identify tonsil cancer include imaging tests like MRIs and CT scans as well as blood tests, urine tests and biopsies.
Treatments for tonsil cancer
In many cases, patients are diagnosed when the cancer has already spread. Their treatment options range from surgery to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Late-stage cancer patients can benefit from palliative care, which focuses on treating the symptoms rather than eliminating the condition.
Personal attention from an attorney
Maybe you or a loved one could have had a condition like tonsil cancer identified and treated sooner if it were not for a doctor’s negligence. An attorney in medical malpractice law may look into your case and help you seek compensation for all applicable losses like medical bills, lost time from work and pain and suffering.