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I Think I Have Tongue Cancer.

GavinP's picture
Posts: 83
Joined: Feb 2013


First some history.

My name's Gavin and I'm 35 years old.

For about five or six years I've had an area of what I now think is white leukoplakia on the right hand side of my tongue.

Because the outline of the leukoplakia is the same as three very sharp, uneven back teeth myself and my dentist have been putting this down to my tongue rubbing against my teeth.

Recently (can't be sure when, but I would say it would be some time before Christmas, maybe November'ish?) another patch if white leukoplakia appeared again on the right side of my tongue, but away from the first area (which has now become a thickened area) and the right hand sice of my tongue is beginning to feel numb. Other than this, I have never had any pain or irritation from my tongue.

I saw the dentist in January and she noticed the new white area and refered me to a maxilo-facial specialist. I saw him last Monday and tomorrow I'm having a biopsy.

This morning I've discovered a small red spot on my tongue near to the white spots that appeared before Christmas.

In recent weeks I've been feeling increasingly off colour. I am running a low grade temperature. I am suffering alternate bouts of diarrhea and consipation and feel nausous (I put this down to a stomach bug around Christmas) My heart is starting to race quite fast. I don't have any pain or tenderness, though I do notice the occasional feeling of pressure on the the top of my back.

Everything I've seen on the internet suggests that this week I'm going to be dignosed with tongue cancer and given the time delay since the new area of leukoplakia appeared some time last year its very probable that its spread at least to my verterbrae if not to the rest of my body.

I'm scared and frightened and wondering whether there is any way back for me. I'm single and live with my elderly parents (my father had a heat attack last October) I had numerous medical problems when I was young which my parents saw me though but now I think they are too old to cope with yet another medical drama with me.  I'm in blackest hole of my life and can't see any way out at the moment.

Is this survivable if its spread? Can I have any quality of life?

Any advice or words of hope would be much appreciated.

GavinP's picture
Posts: 83
Joined: Feb 2013

Billie and Phrannie. You've been amazing. :)

If you would like to see who you've been speaking with these past weeks here's a link to my YouTube channel:


When you play the videos you'll be able to see me.



Posts: 1503
Joined: Nov 2011

And you bet, sure do keep us updated ...!!! 


I remember reading your very first post ...comparing that to now...wow....aren't you glad you just hung in there an waited for some news!!

Best to you ...keep up with us and keep us posted.


Grandmax4's picture
Posts: 624
Joined: Dec 2011

spring is taking it's sweet time getting here too, thanks for letting us know who and where you are..no wonder you were in a twist, your voice is your living..continued blessings

GavinP's picture
Posts: 83
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi all,

Well, I went into hospital on April 30th and had the laser excision of the patch of leukoplakia.

Everything went well. They excised virtually the whole of the right side and floor of my oral tongue from the back (near the large taste buds) through to the tip - Much more extensive than I thought it would be, but I'm guessing a lot of what they've done will be precautionary?

Was told that the first biopsy showed "Moderate dysplasia" so things were indeed getting really quite serious and I was well on my way to oral cancer - Get the feeling I've had a very luckey escape...

Am now home recovering from the operation (Only had to stay in hospital overnight which was good) Obviously very sore and having problems eating and speaking, but overall it's not too bad. I've certainly had far worse medical issues over the years in terms of pain. Having to use two different mouthwashes, which isn't much fun, but given the alternative treatment I could be facing right now it;s not too bad.

Everything they excised has been sent for biopsy, so I;m once again waiting around for biopsy results. Obviously this one is far more extensive than the first one, given it covers vurtially the entire right hand side and floor of my tongue, so I I suspect this will give the definative answer as to whether any of the cells did actually become cancerous?

Have been given a follow up appointment for August 1st, but obviously I'll be in quicker if carcinoma is found in the new biopsy. Overall though, I'm feeling pretty positive and thinking I may, just may have gotten away with it.

Thanks again all. You've been great. Will keep you all updated on my progress.



Posts: 1503
Joined: Nov 2011

Well, I'm glad all that is behind you and I am even more glad (grammar police) that your spirits are up.

I do have to admit however that when you told me your follow up appt was August I did have to laugh.  I just kept thinking to myself

that in the UK the NHS (I believe you referred to it as that) must really hate to deal with pregnant women as they don't wait on the NHS!  HAHAHAHAHA.

Seriously, good to hear from you and do keep us posted...even if that is after my next b-day (there I go again, I just can't help but poking

at the NHS)...  :)



Billie67's picture
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

I'm so happy the surgery is behind you now. I hope you'll heal quickly and I also hope you won't have to wait so long for these results! Your first results seemed to take forever and a day!
So you said they said they told you had moderate dysplasia, did they ever use the term carcinoma in situ? Just curious.
Well so glad you updated us, I've been wondering about you.
And by the way, I couldn't seem to get on to your YouTube page???
Take care,

GavinP's picture
Posts: 83
Joined: Feb 2013

Billie, nobody has ever used "carcinioma in situ" and when I asked my specialist out right when he gave me the first biopsy results "So I DON'T have cancer?" he said "No. It's Pre-Cancerous"

However, we who go through this know its a very fine line between moderate/severe dysplasia and carcinoma in situ, so they could well find some cancerous cells on this second biopsy. Wouldn't be at all surprised.

Sorry you couldn't get to my YouTube page. I've actually got a website that I upload the videos through to;

[Removed Link]

If you play the video you'll see (and hear) who you've been speaking with these past months.

GavinP's picture
Posts: 83
Joined: Feb 2013

Have just edited one of my old post's.

Didn't realise it would push the thread back to page one.

Sorry all.

Hope everyone is OK?

I don't have anything to report. Still waiting to go back to hospital on August 1st for post op follow up appointment. Will let you all know what happens when I've been seen.

Tongue has NOT healed all that well, so I'm a bit nervous about what doc will say, tbh.

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