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a friend has just been diagnosed as having tonsil cancer having only presented with a lump on his neck and no other sympto ms at all i have my doubts as he is in none of the high risk cat egorys he is fit and healthy and he eats a diet rich in fruit and veg and does not drink or smoke could this be possible and should he seek a second opinion

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Lynne,
Unfortunately, yes, your friend can have tonsil cancer. Most cases, if lucky, present with swollen cervical (in neck) lymphnode and nothing else. It is likely to be caused by the HPV16 virus, same one that causes cervical cancer. Your friend should seek treatment immediately as it is a very aggressive, but treatable cancer.
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Lynne, Please, PLEASE always get a second opinion. DO NOT enter into treatment without one!!! If there is a biopsy of the lymph nodes, pathologist will more than likely screen for HPV-16. It is called a p-16 stain. My husband was unable to keep his appointment for his second opinion but the NCI recognized facility with which he was supposed to consult studied his biopsy slides. Four pathologists studied them and all four agreed he does not have cancer. We are waiting for 3rd and 4th opinions from two separate reputable institutions. My money is on the NCI approved and recommended facility. However, it is horrific that he had started chemotherapy and radiation for his oropharyngeal (area includes tonsils) cancer--there was no tumor present--diagnosed in lymph tissue only. Also, he had 4 teeth removed in preparation for the radiation. They were perfectly sound but were expected to fail because they were 3rd molars and would be hard to clean when trismus from radiation set in. He has been exposed to an increased risk of cancer and other maladies as a result of treatment. He has suffered tremendously...and continues to suffer the effects of chemotherapy as it is not out of his system and won't be for some time, if ever. Do not get treated at a regional hospital even if they have cancer treatment facilities. Go to a National Cancer Institute approved and recommended and certified cancer center. And always, ALWAYS get a second opinion before treatment starts. ALWAYS!!!!
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