Hi - just realized the topic heading in the message I posted a while ago may have been too broad and vague - perhaps that explains the lack of responses.
So am re-posting below with a new subject heading.
I'm getting really freaked out about some symptoms I've been having for about ten days, to the extent that it's starting to impact on my ability to concentrate and work properly.
I'm male, live in Australia, just turned 44. I don't smoke now - gave up when I was 36. However, I'd smoked on and off before that since I was 21. I'm not a heavy drinker - basically a social drinker, who sometimes goes weeks on end without having any alcohol. However, when I was younger, esp during my student days there were times when I'd drink quite a bit, although not on a regular basis.
A couple of weeks ago I had travelled to another state on work. On the airport shuttle I was sitting next to, and talked to, a woman who had a really bad sore throat and flu. Two days later I woke up with a sore throat myself. Initially I didn't think much of it, but started getting concerned after the sore throat didn't follow its usual course of runny nose, sneezing, cough, etc. Moreover, the sore throat seemed to be more on one side - the left side. It persisted, bad especially at night. One night there was a bit of blood in my saliva (I was paraniod so had kept checking). This freaked me out so I went to see my GP straight away (this was earlier this week, on Tuesday). He had a look and said that the throat was really inflammed, and put me on a course of antibiotics (Clarithomycin). He said that the bit of bleeding may have been due to how inflammed and congested my throat was. He did however give me a referral to an ENT specialist - initially I couldn't get and appointment until September, but after I pleaded with the secretary that it was urgent, managed to be fitted in on 30 July.
After taking the antibiotics presicribed by my GP for a few days, the inflammation and sore throat subsided. There's also been no more blood in my saliva. However what has continued, and has really been worrying me, is a slight discomfort (not to the extent of pain) and weird feeling on the left side on my throat just above the adam's apple. It seems to come and go, worst when I wake up during the night. During the day however it comes and goes. It's most noticeable when I swallow saliva. However, there's no problem with swallowing food or liquid - don't feel anything, just when swallowing saliva. I am so worried that it's throat cancer, particularly given my past history of smoking. Not being able to see the specialist for another two weeks is really compounding my anxiety.
I know that my symptoms are all the ones for throat cancer, but is there any possibility it could be due to something else? Is there anyone on the forum who had similar symptoms that turned out NOT to be cancer? Also, how quickly could a throat cancer grow to the point of becoming visible? The reason I ask is because I had an endoscopy done twice in the pasy year - once in December and once in mid-April - as I thought I had the symptoms for oesophageal or stomach cancer. The endoscopies were normal, showing just that I had a hiatus hernia and reflux (for which I've been put on nexium). Persumably as the two GI doctors who did the endoscopies in December and April would have had to have gone in through the throat they would have noticed any abnormality in the throat too?
The other thing is, since yesterday I've noticed a slight bump on the roof of my mouth, not painful but I can feel it if I put pressure on it with my tongue. Could the two be related (e.g. the cancer spreading), or would they be separate?
Any thoughts on the matter would be really appreciated.