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#144782 - 01/16/12 05:24 AM Growth on back of tongue - extremely frigthened
kary342 Offline

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 2
Loc: NJ
I have HPV. And because the painless growth (smallish, but almost wart-like not 100% sure) is at the back of the tongue (like the back on the right) I don't see how it's not oral cancer.

I mean what else would it be? I've had it for 10 days btw.

The idea of getting a biopsy at this age (30s) and then getting the results makes me almost black out thinking about it. To actually receive the results I probably would pass out right then.

What scares the living daylights out of me is that if I have cancer is that it is the mouth - I'm a gagger, have fears of choking etc maybe because of my acid reflux which has always made my throat feel tighter - anyways what scares me is that I'm assuming treatment would mean lots of stuff in mouth which would freak me out. Not to mention the thought of surgery removing my jaw or what not. I'm almost going to pass out writing about all that.

So, I don't know how I'm supposed to feel upbeat. Everyone tells me I'm a hypchndriac, which I am, but it seems like I have all the risk factors/symptoms.

#144784 - 01/16/12 01:24 PM Re: Growth on back of tongue - extremely frigthened [Re: kary342]
ChristineB Online   content
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 9427
Loc: PA
Hi Kary! Welcome to OCF. First, calm down!!!! I cant stress this enough. It is not doing you any good getting all worked up about something when you dont know what it is.

There could be many different things going on in your mouth besides cancer. Even if it would be cancer, it is NOT a death sentence. There are many survivors here, including myself which proves its not always fatal.

You need to calm down and think this thru logically. Make yourself a battle plan. Call an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) who is familiar with treating oral cancer patients. Make sure you ask about this as some's specialty is putting tubes in kids ears. Let the doc check you out and if necessary do a biopsy. Honestly it is not a big deal to have one done. Ive done them awake with nothing, asleep, and with being only numbed locally. I prefer it to be done awake without any numbing agent. Its a tiny snip where they take a teeny-tiny piece of tissue and send it to the lab for testing. Then you take it from there with your next plan. Stay busy while passing the time.

Good luck!

SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07, no caregiver
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo extended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line w/ IV antibiotics 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3 times in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile

#144791 - 01/16/12 05:18 PM Re: Growth on back of tongue - extremely frigthened [Re: ChristineB]
Maria Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Registered: 07/15/11
Posts: 945
Loc: Ohio
Hi, Kary
not all of the varieties of HPV cause cancer. As Christine says, just get it checked out as soon as possible. If you are nervous, get a relative or friend to attend the appoinment with you. Also, my guess is that you are stronger than you think, and you will do just fine! Keep us updated on your progress.
CG to husband - SCC Tonsil T1N2M0 HPV+ Never Smoker
First symptoms 7/2010, DX 12/2010
TX 40 IRMT (1.8 gy) + 10 Cetuximab
PET Scans 6/2011 + 3/2012 clear, 5 year physical exam clear; chest CT's clear of cancer. On thyroid pills. Life is good.

#144794 - 01/16/12 05:22 PM Re: Growth on back of tongue - extremely frigthened [Re: Maria]
David2 Offline
Patient Advocate (1000+ posts)

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 1358
Loc: Los Angeles
Kary, Christine and Maria have it all exactly right. There are plenty of things this could be and cancer is only one possibility. So take a deep breath, then take another one! Once you're calmer you can take the next step, which is to have the growth checked out by an ENT.

As Maria also notes, please keep us updated, ok? We're all here for you.
David 2
SCC of occult origin 1/09 (age 55)| Stage III TXN1M0 | HPV 16+, non-smoker, moderate drinker | Modified radical neck dissection 3/09 | 31 days IMRT finished 6/09 | Hit 7 years all clear in 6/16

#144798 - 01/17/12 12:28 AM Re: Growth on back of tongue - extremely frigthened [Re: kary342]
kary342 Offline

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 2
Loc: NJ
Thanks guys. I went to an oral surgeon today. He spent alot of time looking at every part of my mouth and tongue and did an xray and said there is nothing. He said what I perceive as a growth is some part of my tongue that might have been a little irritated and so flamed up a little. It looked like a growth to me and i feel it touching against back of my mouth/throat but whatever.

So, what do you guys think? Always get a 2nd opinion or should I let it go? I'm supposed to go for a follow up next week with him (he gave me antibiotics in the meantime).

This is a pic of it (circled area):

Edited by kary342 (01/17/12 12:28 AM)

#144809 - 01/17/12 05:35 AM Re: Growth on back of tongue - extremely frigthened [Re: kary342]
Cheryld Offline
"OCF Canuck"
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 12/22/10
Posts: 5260
Loc: Toronto canada
Hmmm well frankly I can see what your talking about and it could be anything really. Truth be told most HPV related cancers present either in the tonsil area, or where you can't see them. Base of the tongue (essentially down your throat) most of the oral tongue cancers are not HPV related. It could be many things, and just because you have HPV does not mean you will get cancer... There are a few strains of it that are cancer related. That said - take your meds - keep your upcoming appointment - and try to relax!!! Seriously. If the dr suggest a biopsy it's no big deal, pain wise it's minimal - but I your nervous thy can give you something to relax you. Chances are its nothing. Good luck!

Edited by ChristineB (01/17/12 05:13 PM)
Edit Reason: added NOT
Cheryl : Irritation - 2004 BX: 6/2008 : Inflam. BX: 12/10, DX: 12/10 : SCC - LS tongue well dif. T2N1M0. 2/11 hemigloss + recon. : PND - 40 nodes - 39 clear. 3/11 - 5/11 IMRT 33 + cis x2, PEG 3/28/11 - 5/19/11 3 head, 2 chest scans - clear(fingers crossed) HPV-, No smoke, drink, or drugs, Vegan

#144821 - 01/18/12 04:48 AM Re: Growth on back of tongue - extremely frigthened [Re: Cheryld]
Kerri Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 592
Loc: MA
Hi, Kary.
Follow through like the others suggested. If you want peace of mind, ask for a biopsy. It's the only way you will know what it is, and what it isn't. If he refuses to do a biopsy, a second opinion is a good idea to cover all of your bases. Also, since it is in an area that is rubbing against the back of your mouth, that's another reason to get it snipped off.

Best of luck with your follow up and I hope it's nothing but an irritation/swelling as suggested. Like David said, please keep us posted and we are always here.

Best wishes,
37 y/o fem at Dx (23 wks preg @ dx on 3/16/11)
SCC L oral tongue (no risk factors)
L partial gloss/MND 3/28/11 @ 25 wks preg
T1-2N0M0; no rads/chemo
Tonsillectomy on 8/6/12 +SCC L tonsil T2-3N1M0 (HPV-)
Treated with 35 rads/7 carbo & taxol (Rx ended 10/31/12), but many hospitalizations d/t complications from rx.
Various scans since rx ended are NED!
Part of genetic study for rare cancers @ MGH.
42 years old now...I wasn't sure I would make it! Hoping for 40 more!

#144917 - 01/22/12 04:37 AM Re: Growth on back of tongue - extremely frigthened [Re: Kerri]
tracyinkits Offline
"OCF Canuck"
Contributing Member (25+ posts)

Registered: 09/21/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Calgary Alberta Canada
Complete the full course of antibiotics and see him at the follow up. From there you will either see an improvement or the two of you can decide where to go from there.

In the meantime, avoid reading too many of these forum threads, as they can contribute to your fears and anxieties. If you have other risk factors (other than the HPV) like smoking or heavy alcohol everything in your power to change that! Stop smoking now!

Tracy Dx @ age 47
Single No dependants
NS/Social ETOH
Clinical Study (early detection)
Dx July/09 Mod. Dysplasia (lichen planus)
Dx Sept/11 TisN0M0 SSC Lt Tongue
Sx Oct/11 CO2 Laser Glossectomy
Sx Mar/12 Release of tongue anchoring (Skin graft)
Lingual Nerve Damage

#144953 - 01/23/12 06:16 PM Re: Growth on back of tongue - extremely frigthened [Re: tracyinkits]
AnneO Offline
Gold Member (200+ posts)

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 289
Loc: Kansas
I don't think you should be extremely frightened as long as you are doing something about it. It reminds me of a fibroma I had in my mouth. Fibromas can be anywhere in the body, and can be on the tongue. They are usually the result of irritation. The ENT did not want to remove mine because he said, "all you do is create more scar tissue," but this is someone who has had surgery on their tongue, radiation in their mouth so perhaps that is why. If it is a fibroma, it can get smaller when it is not irritated. Google "oral fibroma" and see if you don't think they are similar. Smooth, pink, or whitish surface, etc. Also, they should be soft to the touch. I think you are wise to follow up on it--let me clarify, I'm not saying it is a fibroma, but could be something like that. Just check it out, and try to keep the fear factor down.

SCC tongue 9/2010, excised w/clear margins:8 X 4 mm, 1 mm deep
Neck Met, 10/2010, 1 cm lymph node; 12/21/'10: Neck Diss 30 nodes, 29 clear, micro ECE node, part tongue gloss, no residual scc
IMRT & 6 cisplatin 1/20/11-2/28/11 at MDA
GIST tumor sarcoma, removed 9/2011, no chemo needed
Clear on both counts as of 10/2015


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