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Raised lump inside middle of tongue

pup
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2004

In Aug. 2008 my significant other of 12 yrs went for his regular 6 month dental checkup; it was there that a lump inside the middle of his tongue was discovered (he never knew it was there). He saw an ENT dr the next wk and after examining it, the dr said he was sure it wasn't cancer because of the way it presented itself (no lesion, redness, or different color) but said to come back in a month. One month later there was no change and no further evaluation needed except "let's keep an eye on it" and "see you in 3 months". About a week and a half after the 3 month visit (at which time there was no change whatsoever) my S.O. started to feel that the tongue was sensitive and seemed larger. Although the dr. could not see any significant changes (still no lesions and the same color as the rest of the tongue), he decided to do a biopsy last week but STILL felt it was not cancer. During the biopsy, however, the dr. mentioned that it was NOT a cyst, nor was it a fatty tissue deposit. The pathology report will take a week and we will get the results on Thurs., 1/15.

We are waiting for the results and going crazy thinking our lives together are at an end. He does NOT want to live without a tongue or be deformed physically, not being able to eat or speak correctly. I should mention he has NEVER touched tobacco and drinks alcohol infreguently-- we are both 59 yrs. old, healthy and very athletic. (I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a bilateral mastectomy in 11/08 and all is well). Last week my sister's 58 yr old husband dropped dread on the basketball court. So as you can see, our plates are full right now with anxiety. The stress of this biopsy and being in limbo is torture for us both. Any comments?

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Pup:

As you know, since you have experienced the joys of cancer, the best person to answer the question re the meaning of the bump on hub's tongue is going to be the doctor. I would not even venture to guess, myself.

It would do no good.

However, I can express an opinion, based on experience, about the idea that tongue cancer is the end of the world: it is not.

Not only do they NOT have to cut out the tongue all of the time, and I do not know where that notion comes from, but even if they DO cut, they may not have to cut all, and when they cut, they may be able to replace the part of the tongue the remove.

That all assumes a worst case scenario for hub, who, at this point, is worrying about a cancer he does not officially have.

I had stage 3 squamous cell cancer in my tongue and in lymph nodes in my neck. I was the recipient of a tongue resection (I think they call it that: they replaced about half of my tongue with muscle, tissue and nerves from my left arm) and a radical neck dissection. I write all about it, by the way, on my page and blog on this site.

I am now eating. In fact, my sister and her hub just moved up here to Va from Tx and we had them over for chili and cornbread tonight. I ate with them; in fact, I made the chili, the way I remembered making it when I lived in Texas. When my son later ate some, he commented that it was really hot (spicy). I am there. I am not eating steak, but I prefer this greatly to the alternative.

I am talking. Some times I have issues with it, sometimes I speak very clearly, but I am quite understandable.

I am living. 'Nuff said in that regard.

If you at least look at my page (among others here who are head/neck cancer survivors) you will see that I do not look like a monster. The picture on that page is AFTER surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Your husband may be able to omit one or more of those options and do well. Me, I prefer getting rid of it so I went the distance. I know that quite a few successful survivors never have surgery.

Best wishes to you and your husband. May this be a false alarm! And if not, may he have the courage and determination to beat it. May you have the greater courage, the greater determination, to help him through it, if it comes to that.

Take care,

Joe

jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1561
Joined: May 2011

My husbandwent three years because they saw nothing. Ended up with stage 4 tongue cancer. They did not take his tongue. If he had went a few more months without treatment the docs saaid he would have been dead.

Get the second and maybe third opinion. We went to 3 ENTs and none caught it. GP ordered a CT of neck and there it was. Still no sores or abrasions.

Praying it is nothing

Debbie

lygio
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2011

I have a very similar situation. I have a big lump in my tongue and no one knows what it is. I saw and ENT who wants me to keep waiting (even though it's been 2 months) and I'm worried because I read that if it is cancer it can be aggressive. The lump is bigger now. He says a biopsy or an MRI is useless.

Please tell me what happened with your results. Thanks so much for any information.

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

Not sure why a biopsy would be "useless". They do biopsies on tongues all the time. I had one done for leukoplakia done.

I think after two months, I would be going for another opinion. A bump on your tongue for more than two months, would make me way nervous. You definitely need to see someone else.

lygio
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2011

hi and thanks for the supportive posts. i went today for a second opinion and the new end was much better but unfortunately was completely at a loss what the lump is. he never saw anything like this in all his 35+ years of practice. he is pretty sure it's not cancer and thinks it may be an infection so has put me on antibiotics and has referred me to a neck and head surgery clinic since he thinks it may still need to be removed. he was very concerned about the location of this growth, even if it's not cancer, because removal will be very difficult and cause serious problems. there is still hope so i will wait to see how the antibiotics go and what the next ent will day in 10 days.

thanks again and all the best

lygio
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2011

today i asked the ent about a biopsy and he said because it's sublingual it's not a good idea. he thinks that doing the biopsy would be more of an infection risk and they most likely would not be able to get a good enough sample to diagnosis anything. still sounds strange to me but i trusted this second end much more so i will go with his advice for now

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

Well that explanation sounds more reasonable than just saying a biopsy is "useless".

Glad that you went fir a second opinion. I really hope the antibiotics clear it up and there are no issues.

lygio
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2011

it's been a while since i posted but i wanted to wait to be sure the good news was true...

i am extremely lucky and happy to say that it turns out the lump was a mysterious infection. after all the scary dire predictions and the crazy unknown phase where they couldn't test me something happened. the lump continued to grow and a white patch hit the surface so finally the last ent had something he could biopsy. he put me on some strong antibiotics and i am so thankful and glad to report that that did the trick and it's shrank to almost nothing. it's still there but very small and i will monitor it to see if it grows again. luckily something of the lump infection hit the surface of my tongue or else they were talking that the only other way was to cut in there which would seriously compromise so many functions of my mouth.

anyone out there reading this: please urge your doctor to consider that the lump could be an infection and to try antibiotics. it's crazy that three serious and long time doctors were completely at a loss to guess what the lump was. thank goodness it all turned out this way. i'm grateful and feel lucky and i hope this will help others who may get the same run around and be able to help their doctors find the solution.

thanks so much for your supportive replies to my e-mail. it was kind and thoughtful of you to write. i felt encouraged and appreciative of this forum where i could express my concerns.

thanks and love

lygio
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2011

another thing in case you have a similar issue...

the second ent put me on antibiotics that did not work and that was depressing because it seemed to be ruling out an infection. as a matter of fact while i was on that course of antibiotics the lump got bigger and went to the surface, which was lucky, because it was an infection that needed more specific, different and stronger antibiotics. so even if antibiotics don't work at first be sure your doctor has prescribed the right ones!

sweetblood22's picture
sweetblood22
Posts: 3230
Joined: Jan 2010

I am glad that you have improved and that the antibiotics have helped you. Wishing you continued improvement, and lots of happy days filled with many blessings.

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