A very rare symptom is the appearance of black on a tonsil—which could bring to mind the possibility of cancer.
New black ANYTHING on the body is quite unnerving.
A tonsil that’s black or partially black is so uncommon that when I asked an ear, nose and throat doctor about this symptom for this article, she replied, “Never seen this; black can be fungal or necrosis,” says Dr. Stacey Silvers, MD, of Madison ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in NYC, who is board certified in otolaryngology; one of her specialties is sinus surgery.
“Dead tissues. Cancer can kill tissue but usually causes more bleeding on the tonsil and white areas. A culture and biopsy is necessary.
“In 18 years I’ve never had a patient complain or seen black tonsils.” Dr. Silvers adds that blood vessels can appear “very dark.”
If tonsils truly appear to be black, chances are that the tissue is dead (necrosis).
This requires prompt medical treatment for removal. Chances are high that cancer is not involved in this.
An NYC expert in ear, nose and throat care, Dr. Silvers has been named among America’s Top Physicians and Surgeons in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology numerous times since 2003.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.