Descripción general

El cáncer de amígdalas es un tipo de cáncer que se origina en las células de las amígdalas. Las amígdalas son dos almohadillas ovaladas ubicadas en la parte posterior de la boca que forman parte del sistema inmunitario del cuerpo que combate los gérmenes.

El cáncer de amígdalas puede causar dificultad para tragar y una sensación de que queda algo en la garganta. Muchas veces el cáncer de amígdalas se diagnostica tarde en el transcurso de la enfermedad, cuando el cáncer ya se extendió a zonas cercanas, como la lengua o los ganglios linfáticos.

El tratamiento para el cáncer de amígdalas generalmente implica una cirugía para extraer el cáncer. En algunos casos, también se recomiendan la radioterapia y la quimioterapia.


Los síntomas del cáncer de amígdalas incluyen dificultad para tragar y una sensación de que queda algo en la garganta. El cáncer de amígdalas ocurre cuando se forman células anormales en las dos almohadillas ovaladas ubicadas en la parte posterior de la boca, llamadas amígdalas.

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor or dentist if you experience any persistent signs and symptoms that worry you.


Tonsil cancer forms when healthy cells in the tonsils develop changes in their DNA. A cell's DNA contains the instructions that tell a cell what to do. The changes tell the cells to grow out of control and to continue living when healthy cells would normally die. The accumulating cells form a tumor that can grow beyond the tonsils and spread to other areas of the body.

It's not clear what causes tonsil cancer, but doctors are finding that human papillomavirus (HPV) is increasingly playing a role. This common sexually transmitted infection is detected in most tonsil cancers in the United States. Tonsil cancer caused by HPV tends to occur at a younger age and is more likely to respond well to available treatments.

Factores de riesgo

Factors that may increase the risk of tonsil cancer include:

  • Using tobacco
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV)


To reduce your risk of tonsil cancer:

  • Don't use tobacco. If you don't use tobacco, don't start. If you currently use tobacco of any kind, talk with your doctor about strategies to help you quit.
  • Limit alcohol if you choose to drink. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.
  • Get regular dental care. During your appointment, your dentist will check your mouth for signs of cancer and precancerous changes.
  • Consider the HPV vaccine. Receiving a vaccination to prevent HPV infection may reduce your risk of HPV-related cancers, such as tonsil cancer. Ask your doctor whether an HPV vaccine is appropriate for you.

Cáncer de amígdalas - atención en Mayo Clinic

Jan. 29, 2021
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