Feb 13, 2011 - 11:29 am
Hey all. I'm glad I managed to stumble my way onto the CSN boards and I have learned alot from reading many posts. My question is to those of you who have been diagnosed with cancer involving the submandibular gland. Can you give me a timeline from when you first noticed the gland was enlarged to what led you or your physician to believe it might be cancer?
After doing more research I am very worried that I could have possibly waited far too long without doing anything. I am a 25 year old male with no medical history, aside from diagnosing myself with anxiety. In March 2009 (in my final semester of nursing school, lots of stress on its own) I developed a bad sore throat and noticed my left submandibular gland became very swollen. I kept feeling the gland every day to see if it was any smaller, which seemed to keep the gland the same size or made it more swollen and painful. Eventually I realized if I left the gland alone, it would shrink and become painless, however it was still there, and I could feel it everytime I swallowed. I never went to the Dr. at that time due to my wife and I having very basic insurance as we were both in our senior years of college without full time jobs.
Fast forward to February 2010, finally I made an appointment with a new physician in another town where my wife and I moved due to work. I told him what I just told you above, he felt the lymph nodes (also a very tiny, but palpable lymph node on the back of my head on the left side as well. also has not changed in size) and said they are very small, but he consulted me to a good ENT an hour's drive away. He also put me on antibiotics, and checked me for mono. The antibiotics didn't do anything, and the mono result came back negative. Later that month I saw the ENT physician who felt my lymph nodes and said they are so small there is nothing to worry about. I told him about how they wax and wane, some days the submandibular gland feels like it's normal size and other days it feels larger, sometimes depending on how hydrated I am. He said he was hesitant to do a biopsy of a gland that is so small when he is sure it isn't cancer. I left his office with him telling me not to worry about it unless the gland gets bigger. He told me my lymph nodes might be a little swollen due to having skin dermatitis.
So here I am a year later, the gland is still larger than on the R side. I can still feel it when I swallow, but still very small when I palpate it. My fear is that overall, it has been 2 years since I first noticed the swollen gland and I haven't had any scans done or anything. Worried that if it is cancer, it might be spreading.
I seem to be the only one concerned. Family members and physicians as stated above seem to be shrugging off the idea of anything serious. Please provide any suggestions or recommendations. God bless you all.