John Mayer Cancels Appearances For Throat Condition Granuloma: What Is It?

Grammy-winning musician John Mayer has been diagnosed with a throat condition called granuloma, causing him to cancel future concert appearances and postpone work on his forthcoming album, Rolling Stone reported.

"This is a temporary setback, though I’m not sure how long or short a period of time it will be," Mayer, 33, wrote on his blog last Friday. "I’ve got the best doctors in the country looking after me and I will be singing and touring again as soon as I get the all clear."

Because of the throat condition, Mayer wrote that he would be missing the iheartradio Music Festival in Las Vegas, as well as his appearance with Tony Bennett in Los Angeles.

But just what is a granuloma, and how serious is it?

A granuloma is a non-cancerous lesion that results from continuous irritation or some sort of trauma to the area, and can take months to go away, according to the New York University Voice Center. Mayer wrote in his blog that his granuloma is right next to his vocal cords.

Granulomas can grow to be big and can even obstruct breathing, according to the NYU Voice Center. Symptoms include hoarseness, throat pain and continuous throat clearing, coughing (sometimes with blood) and the constant feeling that there is a lump in your throat.

Granulomas could be caused by a number of things, including laryngopharyngeal reflux (also known as acid reflux, caused by stomach contents backflowing into the throat to damage it), voice overuse or misuse and using a breathing tube, according to the Washington Voice Consortium.

People are diagnosed with granuloma by undergoing a laryngoscopy, where an endoscope is inserted down the throat to visualize the lesion. Treatment options include treating the underlying laryngopharyngeal reflux (if that is indeed the cause), surgically removing the granuloma lesion, or injecting botulinum toxin (more popularly known as Botox) into the vocal cord, according to the NYU Voice Center.

Similarly, Duran Duran canceled its summer tour this year because singer Simon Le Bon was suffering from throat problems. USA Today reported that he had "damaged muscles controlling his vocal cords, leaving him unable to hit top notes, and had been advised to undergo physical therapy."