Tonsil cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the cells of your tonsils. Your tonsils are two oval-shaped pads in the back of your mouth that are part of your body's germ-fighting immune system.
Tonsil cancer can cause difficulty swallowing and a sensation that something is caught in your throat. Tonsil cancer is often diagnosed late in the disease, when cancer has spread to nearby areas, such as the tongue and the lymph nodes.
Treatment for tonsil cancer usually involves surgery to remove the cancer. In some cases radiation therapy and chemotherapy also are recommended.
Tonsil cancer symptoms include difficulty swallowing and a sensation that something is caught in your throat. Tonsil cancer happens when abnormal cells form in the two oval-shaped pads in the back of your mouth, called tonsils.
Tonsil cancer care at Mayo Clinic
Dec. 08, 2018
- AskMayoExpert. Head and neck cancers. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Head and neck cancers. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed May 25, 2017.
- Flint PW, et al. Malignant neoplasms of the oropharynx. In: Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 27, 2017.
- Warner KJ. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 23, 2017.