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Tongue Cancer?

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2013

Hi all. 

I'm currently waiting to go for a biopsy of a lump (or three) in my tongue next Monday. I'm making myself insane worrying and I just want to hear feedback from those who may have more insight than I do.

I'm 26 years old, 27 in September. Mama to two little ones- 2 and 4 yrs old. I'm healthy. I don't smoke, or drink or even eat dairy or gluten. I'm crunchy to say the least and very aware of toxins etc. 

However, my dentist recently asked me about the lump in my tongue. I've had this lump since I was younger... maybe 20? I don't even remember when I first noticed it. I showed it to my primary care dr. when it first appeared- it would swell very large and disappear and come back through the day and seemed to be related to stress or being tired etc. She dismissed it as something ... I don't even know what she said. (long story short though...this dr suck and sent my grandmother home while she was having an active heart attack.. soo. yeah).

Anyway, my dentist is alarmed because it is blueish black on the bottom right side of my tongue and I have what seems to be like three distinct lumps now. maybe about pea size. She didnt say what she thought it was but referred me to an ENT right away... which clued me in to the fact that it might be serious.

It does not really hurt...I definitely can feel it and sometimes it has sensations and sometimes it swells. I have a history of sever bulimia and currently have pretty significant tooth decay from that...although I've been recovered since I was 19 years old. 

I'm having a really hard time relaxing about this..... I'm trying to believe that this is super rare and that its impossible to happen to me, young and healthy. but I'm terrified. 

I need to be here for my kids. Does this sound like tongue cancer? I do seem to have a lymph node that is a little larger under my jaw on the right side than on the left but...I feel like I'm making it up now that I'm looking for symptoms. 


It's so hard to wait. 

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4674
Joined: Mar 2012

sorry you had to look us up, tho.  Ok....first of all, we have a saying here..."It ain't cancer till somebody in the know says it is"....I know that won't stop the thought from going through your mind, but there are so many other things that mimic the same symptoms as cancer, that many or most of us ended up waiting at least a couple of month between the first Dr. appointment to actual diagnosis.  Just be grateful your dentist is concientious, and wants this checked out by "somebody in the know"...like an ENT. 

The ENT will know if the lymph node you "think may be bigger" IS bigger than what it should be....I can tell you that my mind has given me symptoms of bad things even now....months out of treatment.....Take some deep breaths, and try to relax....the greatest odds are that it is not cancer. 

Come back and get bucked up anytime you feel like it....we're a very supportive group here, and we do understand the fear and the pain that comes with waiting.


donfoo's picture
Posts: 1649
Joined: Dec 2012

Welcome to the forum. Sorry you have anxiety about the situation but it is perfectly normal. As P says it is not cancer unless someone says for sure it is. The results of the biopsy hopefully gives you that answer, better or worse, you know where you stand. Not all biopsies are 100% the first try so be prepared for the impression (report) stating "inconclusive", their term for "not sure". Then discuss next steps, probably some other form of testing. Good luck, remember it is NOT cancer unless being told so at this point try hard to consider yourself free of cancer. Yes, a stretch with two kids but just no need to worry unless you have an issue for sure. don

CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4335
Joined: May 2012


Welcome to the H&N forum.

I don’t know what you have, but it doesn’t sound like the base of tongue cancer I had.  My first sign was a swollen lymph node on my neck. I never felt anything on my tongue.

I know it is hard, but hang tight and listen to Phrannie,  “it is not cancer till they say it is cancer”.  I had to wait a month and 4 days from feeling the lump till I got the word, so I know what it is like to be in your shoes.

Hopefully, your concerns will be put to rest and this will all turn out to be nothing.


Posts: 22
Joined: Jun 2013


I can't really help in easing your mind as I have not been diagnosed with anything yet. Though I do know what you're going through right now, because I'm going through the same thing. My tongue started swelling a bit on the back right hand side about 1 1/2 months ago and it's not gone down at all since, infact I think it's gotten worse, my tongue burns a little sometimes and I have that along with a sore throat that I've had for about as long. I'm a 20 (21 in just over 3 weeks) year old female, do not smoke and very rarely drink and only in extreme moderation, no HPV (to my knowledge). I'vd not yet had any tests as all the doctors I've seen think I'm "too young" to have it.  

Anyway, whilst I can't help like the others in here can, I just wanted to let you know that there is someone else (of similar age) going through the same thing as you, and thar I understand 100% what is going through your mind right now.

I hope that your biopsy results come back clear, this is not something that anyone wants obviously. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and hope you'll keep us updated on what happens.

best of luck to you.

Aimee :) 

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

I would tend to say that if it's been there for seven years, more than likely it's not cancer... and as mentioned there's no way of really knowing without the ENT and his expertise and knowledge.

Not much use to say not to worry at this point, more than likely you already have it in your head that it's pretty serious or you wouldn't be on a cancer forum seeking knowledge...

If and when it's determined to be cancer, this is definitely a great forum to be on...



jim and i's picture
jim and i
Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2011

Everyone has said pretty much what I would say but wanted to let you know I am praying this turns out to be something simple. You say you suffered from bullimia in the past so maybe the stomach acids have done some damage. May the doctors get the results quickly to relieve your anxiety'


meaganb's picture
Posts: 243
Joined: May 2012

Hi! Welcome! I am going to echo what everyone else said. Its not cancer till someone can absolutely tell you it is. I am 28. I was diagnosed last year with ACC which is a rare salivary gland cancer. At the time my daughter was only 10 months old. I had surgery to remove the tumor & a lot of lymph nodes. That was followed up with radiation. Today is actually my 1 year anniversary of finishing radiation. Even if it is cancer it is certainly not a death sentence.Here I am one year out with clean scans & expecting a baby in Dec. I know that the waiting is awful. I had to wait 3 weeks for my surgery after I was told they found a tumor on a CT scan. Again, just try to remember that whatever this is, it is probably NOT cancer! Please update us after your appointment! Best!

hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

Prayers that both you & Aimee have favorable results. 

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