The uvula is the bit of tissue that hangs in the back of your throat. Its exact function in the body is still debated in the scientific community, however, the presence of lymphatic tissue suggests that it has a role in the immune system. Its placement at the back of the throat makes it susceptible to infection and inflammation from a number of causes.
The most common reason for an ectopic growth on the uvula is an infection by a virus. The lymphoid tissue that is present in the uvula gets stimulated due to the presence of an infection, a process that can result in an overgrowth. In most cases, this problem is self-limiting and the overgrowth should subside on its own. However it does not need to be treated aggressively even if it does not.
Such a growth on the uvula is commonly seen in patients who have had a nasty bout of flu.
A streptococcus infection is also a common reason for the inflammation and swelling of the uvula. Streptococcus infections are common in the throat region and will be associated with pain, fever, and difficulty in swallowing and even on speaking. The treatment might require conformation with a swab before prescribing antibiotics. The possibility of an associated tonsillar infection should also be examined if the throat/uvula keeps on getting infected again and again.
The uvula can also become enlarged, swollen and painful due to an allergic reaction. Its position in the back of the throat makes it right in line to come in contact with anything that goes in the body. The allergic reaction could be due to an artificial preservative added in your food, a particular food group, or even a particular ingredient in your toothpaste. It is extremely difficult to tell. If you have changed a mouthwash or toothpaste in recent times then it is advisable to go back to what you were using earlier to see if the symptoms resolve.
This is the one thing that everyone fears whenever there is any sudden growth or lump in the body. If you find that the lump on your uvula is ulcerating often, causing pain, heals slowly or not at all or is changing its size then you must take the opinion of your doctor.
It is likely that a biopsy will be done to find out if the growth is cancerous in nature or not. Based on the repots, the doctor may choose to excise the growth or leave it be. Early detection and treatment is invaluable in cancer treatment and so most doctors will not take a chance and may even ask for multiple biopsies. If it does turn out be neoplastic in nature, then a scan to ensure there are no metastatic lesions elsewhere in the body is also in order.
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