Ear Nose and Throat1 Comment

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I have been suffering with a sore throat for about 2 weeks now. It started up suddenly one morning when I woke up and has not stopped. It\’s worse when I wake up and then settles down after a few hours but does not go away fully.

I was a smoker for 20 years and quit just over 3 months ago. I am a bit worried if this is throat cancer because I know I am still high risk given the smoking for such a long time. The sore throat is more of a dull ache than pain and gets a little worse when I swallow. Please advise.

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  • Dr. Chris September 25, 2010

    Understandably you will have concerns given your history of smoking for such a long period. However, cancer is not the only condition that could be causing these symptoms.

    A morning sore throat that settles during the course of the day is very often due to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)/ acid reflux. The stomach acid rises up your esophagus to reach the back of the throat while you are asleep. This irritates the throat and causes the typical morning sore throat.

    Another possibility is related to snoring. The increased force needed to allow air to overcome the flapping soft palate or collapsing airways cannot irritate the throat and mouth. This may also account for a morning sore throat.

    Speak to your doctor and allow him/her to conduct the necessary investigations. This is the only way that you will know for sure what is causing these symptoms.

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