Tonsil cancer is cancer that occurs in one of the three types of tonsils of the throat. It most commonly occurs in the palatine tonsils, which are located on either side of the throat, although it can also occur in the pharyngeal tonsils (also called adenoids), which are behind the nasal cavity, or in the lingual tonsils, which are at the back of the tongue. Of 160 tumour samples identified in Canada, 91 (57%) were positive for HPV 16. The total number of tonsillar cancers significantly increased from 1993–1999 to 2006–2011 (32 vs. 68), and the proportion of cases that were HPV-positive substantially increased (25% vs. 62%, p < 0.002). Those changes were associated with a marked improvement in 5-year overall survival (39% in 1993–1999 vs. 84% in 2006–2011, p < 0.001). When all factors were included in a multivariable model, only HPV status predicted treatment outcome.
Radiation therapy or surgery can be effective in treating early tonsil cancer, and chemotherapy can be effective in treating more advanced tonsil cancer. Following surgery to remove cancerous tissue, reconstructive surgery can help restore structures that have been removed and rehabilitation can help you relearn how to eat, swallow or talk, if needed. New techniques introduced to reduce complications, making Tonsil cancer a safer operation for more people than ever before. Further research is being conducted to determine the best surveillance interval to monitor these cysts.