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White patches on my tongue... Cancer?

meg071189's picture
meg071189
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2013

Hi everyone, I'm obviously new here.

My name is Megan and I'm 23 years old. I'm definitely a bit of a hypochondriac and I suffer from severe anxiety and hypothyroidism.

About a month ago, I got a small white spot on the right side of my tongue. A couple days later, I got two more white spots on the same side. The one most towards the front (the first one I got) is the smallest, then the next one is a little bigger, and the one all the way at the back is the largest (looks more like a patch than the other two).

I don't really notice them in my mouth unless I stick my tongue out or touch them with my finger, as they feel more coarse than the rest of my tongue.

A few days after I got the spots, I also noticed that my tongue looked "scalloped", like it had teeth indentations all around the edges. This hasn't gone away either.

Now my mouth is starting to feel dry, like I constantly need something to drink. The top of my tongue is looks sort of white until I brush my teeth, then it goes away for awhile. Also my mom noticed that the inside of my cheeks are looking white.

At first I thought it was thrush, so I did the "spit test", and my spit did have "legs" after about 5 seconds, but I'm reading that the spit test is unreliable.

Unfortunately, I have been a cigarette smoker for 5 years now. I'm trying to quit but it's really hard. The reason I haven't gone to the doctors about this is because I'm sort of agoraphobic, and the idea of going to a hospital and getting a biopsy and maybe finding out I have oral cancer is terrifying to me. If only doctors made house calls. :(

Anyway, I'm looking for opinions and if this sounds like oral cancer. I know you guys can't give me a diagnosis but I'd feel so much better about going to the doctor if I knew I wouldn't have to get a biopsy and get told I have cancer at such a young age.

I'd greatly appreciate any help.

meg071189's picture
meg071189
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2013

Also, I do bite the inside of my cheeks a lot out of nervous habit. I'm not sure if I grind my teeth while sleeping, I tried asking my boyfriend but he says he hasn't noticed. Also, right around the time I got the first spot (maybe right before), I had cut the back of my gums with a taco shell and it was swollen back there for about 3 days and painful. By the way, the white spots I have are painless. Sorry, just trying to give you guys as much info as possible.

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2866
Joined: May 2012

Megan,

Welcome to the H&N forum, so sorry you are worried about having cancer.

It is probably nothing, especially not cancer, but you are 23 years old and it is time to go to the doctor and find out what it is.  Believe me, the last thing you want to do is flirt with cancer, it is a terrible disease.

Besides, cancer is often stealthy, I did not feel ANYTHING and I had stage Iva,scc,bot. I felt a lump while shaving.  If it is driving you crazy it is probably doing the same to your Mom. So, you know what to do.

Good luck,

Matt

meg071189's picture
meg071189
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2013

Thank you so much for replying, Matt. I've been up for hours every night for the past two weeks worrying about this. I know I should go to the doctor, I'll probably make an appointment tomorrow, as scared as I am to do so. I hope you're right about it probably not being cancer. Fingers crossed.

DCH21
Posts: 33
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi Meg,

 

As Matt said I would go to a doctor and get checked out. I have stage IV cancer and had no idea I have been walking around with a tumor in my head for years.

In fact my cancer was found while being checked out for something entirely different.

 

Smoking., I smoked for 47 years. I only gave it up when I found out about my tumor. I never really tried very hard to quit before. I liked it. At least I thought I did. I promise what I am about to say is not my 'preaching' to you.

 

Many, many of my friends who were hard core smokers (2-3 packs a day) tried evrything you can think of to quit. Nothing seemed to work for them  until one of them came across a book and was able to quit after reading it. He passed the word and a lot of my friends had the same success.

I was right in the middle of reading it this past December because I was bound and determined to quit by New Years day. Guess what, I found out

about my tumor on December 30th so I did not need a book to help me quit. LOL !

You can get this book from your local library, buy it, or simply download it off the Internet for free.

Give it a shot and see what you think. It only takes a day or two to read. I promise it is a different approach to helping people quit.

 

Just Google  'Allen Carr's Easy Way To Quit Smoking PDF' It is free and you will have it on your computer to refer to.

 

Lastly I want to mention that my wife was a 1 pack a day smoker for 17 years. She read the book last July and quit.

 

Good Luck to you Meg. You are very smart to have come to this site to ask your questions. You will get informed answers here from people who know what they are  talking about.

 

I wish you well !!!!

 

DennisSmile 

meg071189's picture
meg071189
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2013

Thank you so much for the tip, Dennis! I'll have to look it up after this. It's such a hard habit to break and I wish I had never started. I'll especially wish that if I do find out I have cancer.

TracyLynn72's picture
TracyLynn72
Posts: 646
Joined: May 2013

make an appointment and go see a doctor!  I had a small bump in my gum that ended up being a 4cm tumor.  I just ignored it for months!!  Please, please don't ignore it any longer and make the mistakes I did.  I hope and pray that it's not cancer, and you can get some answers.  I was a smoker and I beat myself up pretty bad about getting cancer, but the doctor said what I had was not a "smoker's cancer". It's such a sneaky, tricky disease and it doesn't discriminate.  Keep us posted! 

meg071189's picture
meg071189
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2013

I'm going to see a doctor either tomorrow or Tuesday. I'm hoping this is just thrush but we'll see. I'll keep you guys posted.

meg071189's picture
meg071189
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2013

I'm on my way to an urgent care right now, I can't wallow in worry any longer. I'll keep you posted.

TracyLynn72's picture
TracyLynn72
Posts: 646
Joined: May 2013

are being said for you right now!

meg071189's picture
meg071189
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2013

Well, I went to my doctor and I have to say that I didn't leave feeling very reassured. He said he doesn't really know what it is and that he doesn't think it looks like yeast, yet he prescribed me to Mycelex lozenges for 5 days. He said he doesn't think it looks like anything serious but if it doesn't go away with the lozenges, I have to go to an ENT doctor. Ugh. :( I'm really praying these lozenges do something and I don't need a biopsy or anything like that. Thank you so much for the help and prayers though, it honestly means so much to me.

DCH21
Posts: 33
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi Meg !

 

I am assuming that you went to an urgent care facility???

 

Well the doctor not knowing what you have is not exactly a confidence builder so no wonder you are still stressed. I suppose the good news is that he did not look into your mouth, recognize something terrible and want to rush you to an emergency room !

 

I have had a couple of experiences at urgent care centers in my lifetime. I look back  and laugh at them now.

 

At least you are being proactive. Maybe you can call your primary doctor tomorrow and let him follow up from here.

 

Because of your age, my guess, for what it is worth, is that the odds of your having something seriously wrong with you are astronomically low.

 

Please post back here and let us know what the diagnosis is when you get time.

 

Take Care,

 

DennisSmile

meg071189's picture
meg071189
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2013

Hi Dennis, yes I did go to an urgent care. But the funny thing was that my primary care physician was my doctor at the urgent care facility. I guess he works at both because they're across the street from each other. I started taking the lozenges today, I've taken 3 so far. I have to take 5 of them every day for the next 5 days. I'm just praying these will work and I don't have to see an ENT. Thanks so much for your concern and I'll keep you updated!

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