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slightly asymmetric tonsils normal?
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louise123_uk posted:
Im 26 and female.

Two days ago I got a scratchy pain in my throat a few times in the day on the right side (usually when my throat was v dry i.e. just waking up on morning). I had a look in my mouth and the back of my throat was a bit red on the right side that was scratchy, not the tonsil but the bit just infront and neither tonsil looked swollen. It doesnt feel like a sore throat usually does, not sure if this is anything to be concerned about?

From looking in my mouth I noticed that my left tonsil (so the opposite side to where i felt pain) was slightly larger than the right tonsil i.e. it kind of comes forward more and seems to be a bit longer than the right, not sure what shape tonsils should be but mine look kind of lumpy with what looks like holes..... It has always been like this, not sure when first noticed it but quite a number of years ago. I had tonsilitus a few times as a kid up to about age 13, and sometimes get the odd sore throat if have a cold for about 2 days, but nothing out of the ordinary. I have read that asymmetric tonsils could be a sign of cancer but as I say mine have been like this a long time. Its something ive never given much thought, but im now just a little concerned given the scratchy pain I had (even though its not on the side of the larger tonsil and the larger tonsil isnt higely bigger). Can tonsils be asymmetric and be normal, like could this just be how my mouth is?? I have read this and also Ive read that the pocket where the tonsil sits can be shallower on one side even making one tonsil just appear bigger. Thoughts, experiences appreciated, thanks

The scratchy feeling I had on the right side isnt really there anymore and was only occassional. Its really the difference in size and the way they look that has scared me a little, the size difference isnt huge but I can def see one more than the other, also the one that looks bigger is lumpy with some red bumps, whereas the other one looks pretty flatish. Should they be at all lumpy? Im just really scared because they have always been like this (i.e. a bit different), well or as far back as I remember having had a look, im just panicing that it could be something serious like cancer and that ive had it for years so it would be very very advanced by now! Im hoping the tonsil thing is nothing serious as surely if id had cancer years id be getting other symptoms by now right?
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Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
Human beings are not symmetrical...at all. We can have different sized feet; one eye can be weaker than the other; hearing can be different from one ear to the other -- and, tonsils can be different sizes and be NORMAL.

A painful, red, assymetrical tonsil could indicate a peritonsillar abscess, but I think this would be quite obvious to you -- one tonsil being INFECTED, and one not infected. As you know, I have no way of examining you -- looking at your tonsils first-hand -- so I strongly suggest, since you are so worried, to have a proper examination. As far as cancer is concerned, this would not be high on my list of diagnostic considerations -- but I cannot tell you that you do not have cancer, primarily since I only have your posting to go on -- again, you would need to be examined.
 
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louise123_uk responded:
I went to see a doc today (just a normal doctor at my local practice) and he listened to what I had to say then had a look in my mouth and although he did say one was a little bigger than the other, he basically said as you have that tonsils dont have to be perfectly symmetrical and that I shoudnt worry as I had no other symptoms linked to cancer. Should I go and see a second doctor just to make sure as they could think something different perhaps?

The slightly larger tonsil doesnt look particularly any redder than the other, it doesnt actually seem swollen at all just bigger than the other tonsil. Does this honestly sound right, he did nothing else other than look in my mouth and feel my neck (no lumps). I dont have any other symptoms such as fever, low immune system, itching, vomiting etc, nor is there any pain from the tonsil. I can however feel the slightly larger tonsil sometimes when I swallow (it doesnt obstruct anything, I just get a slight sense there is something in my throat for a sec, this is because I think the tonsil touches a part of my throat the other tonsil doesnt touch as its larger, but as I say the doc I went to see said that you wouldnt have one sypmtom on its own and that id be having other things that I thought werent right, plus he didnt seem to recoil in shock at my tonsils or anything, he didnt seem to think there was much unique there. He was a registrar as oppose to a GP though, I think aa registrar in the UK is a hospital doc who is doing a training year in a general practice to become a GP, but I guess still as good as right? He was an ENT doc, I think to get referred to one of those at the hospital a GP would have to think something wasnt right and as I said my doc didnt.

So in summary he just said people arent the same and that the larger tonsil is just part of our bodies not always being symmetrical, im just a worrier about medical stuff hence why still panicing, but everyone ive spoken to does say that seeing another doc would kinda be virtually time wasting given what he said (Id have to see another doc at my local GP practice so it would come up I just had an appointment the other day, im in the uk). Sorry know you cant give me a yes hes def right or wrong answer, but any opinions would be valued.
 
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louise123_uk responded:
By the way, thank you for your initial reply, it does make me feel somewhat better you said the asymmetrical thing can be normal as well.
 
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louise123_uk responded:
Hi sorry to post yet again, but I think the larger tonsil looks kind of a tad lumpy with a particular little lumpy bump (sorry dont know how to describe ti toward the back so I cant get a great look). My other tonsil looks mostly entirely flat. However my doc said that my tonsil didnt look particularly lumpy so I think this is what worries me maybe he didnt look properly......
 
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Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
I am sorry that the GP did not totally reassure you. You still seem worried that there is something hidden or ominous (like that cancer you were worried about). There is nothing wrong about seeing an ENT specialist -- the ENT is an expert and really should be able to give you that 100% reassurance that you need.


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