Cancer Research UK explains that the main symptoms of tonsil cancer include the following:
- A sore throat
- Ear pain
- A painless lump in your neck
- Difficulty swallowing.
However, other possible symptoms that can occur include blood in the saliva, a new intolerance to eating or drinking citrus foods, a tonsil that is larger on one side and bad breath.
Due to the main symptoms, especially a lump in the neck, being painless, individuals may not realise they have tonsil cancer. Even when seeking medical advice, doctors will need to do multiple tests including blood tests, X-rays and a biopsy before diagnosing the condition.
Although symptoms might be tricky to spot, some individuals are more at risk of developing tonsil cancer due to specific lifestyle choices and previous infection. The main risk factors for developing this type of cancer include:
- Regularly drinking alcohol
- Infection of human papillomavirus (HPV).