Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Do I have cancer of the throat?"


my throat is swollen and tight


There are many different potential cause of a swollen and tight throat, and so the first step would be to go see your primary care doctor for an evaluation if the symptoms persist. Throat cancer is not common, especially in those who do not smoke. Although throat cancer can lead to many symptoms, including pain with or trouble swallowing, these symptoms tend to come on a bit gradually.

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Therefore, if your symptoms are relatively acute in onset, then this is probably not what is going on. Many cases of discomfort and tightness in the throat are caused by common viral infections (like the common cold) or common bacterial infections (like strep throat). These will probably be the first things your doctor will want to rule out with the physical examination. Other common (and relatively benign) medical causes would include acid reflux or heartburn. Allergic reactions can also cause discomfort and tightness in the throat. This can be dangerous, because the swelling can lead to trouble breathing. Therefore, if you have any trouble breathing, or any swelling of the face or tongue or lips, these could be signs of a serious allergic reaction, and you should seek immediate medical attention. Book an appointment with your doctor today! Good luck!

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.