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35 years
Hi, I have mild soreness, inflammation and redness in my left tonsil with mild pain radiating to my left ear. Could it be cancer? Please advice. Thx.
Apr 3, 2015

Dr. Zakia Dimassi Pediatrics
Cancer ?! Ouff ! What made you think of that? If you have googled your symptoms, let me assure you, almost every time you enter a bunch of symptoms into a non medical search engine, one of the possible diagnoses that will pop up will be cancer. This is not because cancer is highly likely in your particular case or because cancer is so widely prevalent. It's simply because to initiate a valid and realistic list of possible diagnoses, you need to take into account the demographic information (age, gender, geography), overall health status (past medical history, family history), and the pattern of progress of symptoms.
In your case, a diagnosis of cancer is very very highly improbable. I mean how common is cancer of the tonsils anyway?!
Briefly, this is most likely a viral tonsillitis ; the pain radiating to the ear may be due to an associated left middle ear inflammation (otitis media), or because of the vicinity of the nerves that pass through the area, the radiating pain exists. Worst case scenario, this could be a bacterial tonsillitis, and can be treated with antibiotics.
You need to have a doctor examine your throat, sinuses and ears, and take a swab culture from your tonsils (to see if it grows bacteria). He/she will decide whether there's a need to start a course of antibiotics.