I have a lump in my throat

It is not uncommon for people to come to me feeling a lump in the throat being present. It is a very common phenomenon that more often is benign but requires a careful ENT evaluation in the history and examination.

It is imperative to take a clear history in order to elicit high risk cancer association factors such as a smoking and or high alcohol intake. Safer aspects to the history include the ability to continue to eat and drink, no weight loss and if the lump sensation comes and goes.

It is essential that a thorough ENT examination is undertaken to visualise the upper aerodigestive tract and this can be undertaken using nasendoscopy. This allows a direct picture of the upper airway that cannot be undertaken by the patients General Practitioner. It is often for this reason that patients are referred for a specialist opinion.

A wide differential diagnosis exists for this symptom thankfully the majority of cases are related to a ‘globus’ phenomenon which may be related to reflux or stresses however, the high risk malignant conditions have to be excluded.