Cancers of the tonsils are one of several cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract (UAT), which share many common points. These cancers mostly affect men over the age of 50, and their main risk factor is the joint intoxication by alcohol and tobacco. As to tonsil cancer itself, it is not immune to these risk factors, but it is much more influenced by smoking. Cancer of the tonsils can be associated with other injuries of the upper aerodigestive tract. Of the 76 patients, 22/29 (76%) and 16/18 (89%) had an HPV-positive tonsillar and base of tongue cancer respectively, with 18/22 (82%) and 8/16 (50%) respectively having tumor concordant HPV-type positive oral samples in Italy.
A doctor makes the diagnosis by viewing the throat. Tests are not usually performed, but if the doctor is not sure whether an abscess is present, computed tomography (CT) or ultrasonography can be used to identify one. Sometimes if an abscess is suspected, the doctor inserts a needle into the area and tries to draw out pus. 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.