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lump in throat and ear pain

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I’m a twenty six year old female. I have always had bad allergies which have brought on sinus problems. I’ve try to maintain them with medication (Zyrtec D and Flonase daily). Whenever I get a sinus infection it is usually accompanied by ear pain and pressure in my left ear only. Sometimes there is an infection present or a fluid build-up (confirmed by a doctor), but just as often there are no signs of what could be causing the pain and pressure.

2-3 months ago, I started having pretty persistent sinus infections (every 2-3 weeks) that didn’t seem to be brought on by any allergy symptoms. I had a severe stabbing pain in my left ear with fluid build up. My doctor would put me on antibiotics and the symptoms would improve, but never completely go away and then would return in a few weeks.

Two weeks ago the symptoms started again and a few days later I noticed a fleshy, hard, fixed lump (less than 1 cm in diameter) on the very back of my throat (pharyngeal wall). I went to my PCP who wouldn't even look at the lump, said it was probably "nothing" and gave me 10 day course of antibiotics. I’ve been on the antibiotics for 10 days with only slight relief and the lump is still there. I called and she said there is no reason for me to see an ENT.

Here are my symptoms:
-lump in throat
-persistent sinus issues
-intense ear pain/pressure, ear popping (left ear only)
-blood streaked mucus (worse in the morning)
-voice hoarseness
-unintentional weight loss (15 lbs in 2-3 months)
-blurry vision, flashes
-extremely fatigued/run down feeling
-horrible breath/rotten taste in my mouth mainly coming from left side

Also, I am in a Li-Fraumeni family. My brother, my mom, all of her siblings, my grandfather, some of my cousins, and my cousin’s children ALL had RARE cancers (sometimes multiple cancers) at very YOUNG ages. Most notably my mom had a Chondrosarcoma (bone cancer) in her mouth at 34 which started as a small lump that looked like a pimple and my uncle had a Leiomyosarcoma (a rare soft muscle tissue cancer) in his arm that started out as a small painless lump that doctors also said was “nothing”. I have not been tested for the genetic mutation, but I feel as though this should at least be considered.

I saw an Internal MD with a specialty in genetics this week. She basically said the lump was nothing and didn’t acknowledge or try to explain any of the other symptoms. She said she will not run any kind of diagnostic tests on the lump until I test positive for the Li-Fraumeni mutation. I’m not comfortable with having the test before I acquire life insurance.

In order to get an MRI or CT, I have to get life insurance (which will probably require a physical), wait to have my blood drawn, wait for the results, wait to get an appointment with Internal MD, then wait for a scan…

At this point, I’m desperate. Every doctor I go to says that people my age don’t get cancer even if they know about the mutation and my family history, yet they can’t explain my symptoms and don’t want to run any tests. I have an appointment with an ENT late next week but I’m not hopeful.

I'm not convinced that its cancer but at the very least it would be nice to have it ruled out.

It’s not as simple as “go to a new doctor” because I’m limited by my insurance from switching PCPs more than once a month.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
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replied September 18th, 2009
I have a thought, although this may be months too late. I suspect that you have acid reflux. As I have learned, asthma, bronchitis, sinus infactions and acid reflux all can be related. Recently, I had allergies that led to a sinus infection with severe post nasal drip. The drip set off a cough that turned into bronchitis. At some point the cough or the drip or both, set off acid reflux. That worked in a loop to then combine with the post nasal drip to set off laryngeal spasms everytime I coughed, so I couldn't breathe. (Had to get Botox in the vocal chords to stop them).

To top all this off, the acid burned my throat. It set off pain in the left side of my throat and into my ear. Maybe because I normally sleep on my left side. But there is a nerve called the glossopharyngeal nerve that travels through the ear to the back of the throat and then to the tongue. So your throat is set off and pain goes into your ear.

You have to get it all under control. I have the cough and drip under control. And almost have the GERD under control. Then I suspect the throat pain will go away. But that's still up in the air.

Hope this helps.
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replied February 1st, 2010
Have you been to a dentist lately? This sound like it could be a problem with your wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth cause a pain in the left ear and a sore throat, the bad breath, blood could be from bleeding gums (infected). I also have sinus issues caused by my teeth.
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replied February 2nd, 2010
I see a dentist every 6 months. I had all four of my wisdom teeth out about 10 years ago, so I don't think it could be that.
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replied November 28th, 2010
All I've learned by searching things on the internet is that you are all a bunch of hypochonrdiacs and wanna be doctors. If you're worried, just go to a doctor and get it checked out. Worst case scenario see more than 1 doctor. Final solution: you're just a hypochondriac. Google it, you'll see.
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replied March 11th, 2012
Just a few points I want to make here:
People do see Drs, though it can take years to reach an answer. In the meantime, having others to turn to for advice and support is invaluable.
People find it useful to talk through their symptoms and experiences before they see the Dr as they often have a lot of stuff going on and need to get it clear in their head before trying to get the gist of it across in a 5 or 10 min appointment.
Hypochondriasis is a medical condition...go figure.
If it annoys you so much I recommend you find your own business and mind that.
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replied December 17th, 2010
This seems to be a primary stage of yours and it can be prevented take the appearance of severe cancer by taking as much oxidants especially the wine because its a great source of oxidants and pures blood.
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replied December 28th, 2010
I have been going through the same thing. After going to the House Ear Clinic in LA and numerous ENT's up and down CA they discovered that I have TMJ and LARYNGOPHARYNGEAL REFLUX.

It all started with a throat infection. They have no idea what caused it but then it turned into numerous ear and throat infections. They put me through 7 rounds of antibiotics, then on steriods (to try to regain my hearing, that fullness in the ear that you feel)and Zyrtec D to try to open the sinuses. You do need to go see an ENT. Everything works together and what I found useful was going to see the Dentist, Chiropractor and Massage Therapist. Because of the LPR I take 40mg of Zegrid before I go to bed to stop the acid from burning my throat and causing the lump in my throat.

Oh, and I found my primary care physician unuseful. He actually admitted that he was baffled and that I should see an ENT. You know your body and you know when something is wrong!
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replied March 26th, 2011
Final solution: you're just a hypochondriac
"Final solution: you're just a hypochondriac" I know a number of people that would be dead is they had that passivist attitude. I've seen a doc tell someone their pain was medically impossible while they were bleading severely internally. He put the patient off for hours at the bottom of his lest and she almost died from the blood loss by the time he ran the standard imaging tests. She had over a liter of blood in the body cavity... explains the intense pain.
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