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#147085 - 03/13/12 04:15 PM Small lesion in right tonsillar area
jayewallace Offline
Member

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 2
Loc: Winchester, VA
I had a doctor appt this morning after discovering a flesh colored lump/lesion on my right tonsil. I have had swollen glands particularly on the right side for months. The doctor was alarmed at the size of my glands and said they were abnormally large....that my lymph nodes weren't swollen but actually infected. She has ordered a chest x-ray, a barium swallow upper GI series and an appointment with an ENT. My appt with the ENT is not until the end of the month and the doctor mentioned the possibility of oral cancer so I am extremely worried. I am a 32 year old female, on and off smoker for many years with 3 young children. The lesion is flesh colored and was not visible upon inspection until I shone a flash light down my throat. It is the same color as surrounding tissue. I know no-one can diagnose me on this forum but any advice would be appreciated. Does this sound like oral cancer to anyone with experience. Thank you so much for your time.

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#147093 - 03/14/12 01:42 AM Re: Small lesion in right tonsillar area [Re: jayewallace]
Cheryld Offline
"OCF Canuck"
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 12/22/10
Posts: 4963
Loc: Toronto canada
Hi there - welcome.. I hope you're just passing through.
Try not too worry to much but do see if you can get your appointment moved up. Waiting just adds to one's stress level - plus cancer or not - it should still be dealt with ASAP - since whatever it is - has been going on for a long time. It is always possible that smoking could cause oral cancer, in the past it was primarily a smoker and drinkers cancer - but usually tonsil cancer - is HPV related. Lymphnodes can swell do to infection, inflammation and cancer. That said, quitting smoking should be a priority. And even if it isn't cancer you should still give it up. But I'm sure I'm just telling you something you're already well aware of. Hopefully this is just an infection of some sort, but if it's not we're here for you. Take care and many blessings.


Edited by Cheryld (03/14/12 01:43 AM)
_________________________
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

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#147099 - 03/14/12 04:17 AM Re: Small lesion in right tonsillar area [Re: Cheryld]
ChristineB Online   content
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 8475
Loc: PA
Jaye welcome to OCF. Unfortunately there are several things that could be going on inside your mouth right now. I hope it is NOT anything serious. The bext thing I can tell you is to get yourself checked out by an ENT who is experienced with treating oral cancer patients. An oral surgeon may also be able to help by doing a biopsy. This is the only way to tell exactly what exactly the lump is.

As a former smoker please listen to what I have to say about smoking. I quit after I found out that it was cigarettes that made me sick. I got angry about what I had done to myself and I threw the cigs right out the window while I was driving. That was almost 5 years ago and I have never smoked another cigarette. If I hadnt been a smoke, I probably would not have gone thru any of the horrors I did during 3 rounds of oral cancer. Tobacco has so many poisonous chemicals in it that no wonder it makes people sick. Please let this be your wake up call and quit smoking. Dont let cigs continue to irritate your mouth.

Please keep us posted. Best wishes with everything!!!
_________________________
Christine
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

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#147433 - 03/23/12 05:31 PM Re: Small lesion in right tonsillar area [Re: ChristineB]
jayewallace Offline
Member

Registered: 03/13/12
Posts: 2
Loc: Winchester, VA
Thank you for your responses, I really appreciate it. I have not been able to see the ENT Dr yet and the lump has gone from flat to sort of pointy now.....almost like a small blister on the tip of the lump and the area around the tonsil is more red now. It is visible without use of the flashlight now whereas when I first noticed it all tissue including the lump was the same color. My bloodwork from the inital visit with my MD came back positive for mono but I have been on strong antibiotics for 8 days now so I don't think this lump is related. I have gone in to panic mode again when I had initially stopped worrying so much after the mono diagnosis, but the change in the lump that I have seen today has really worried me. I quit smoking cold turkey on the 13th.....the day of my initial dr visit. I smoked for a few years as a teen and then quit for 8 years.....I started again in late 2008-early 2009 so I've really only been a full time smoker off and on for a total of around 6 years and I am 32 years old so I feel that smoking probably won't have contributed if this did turn out to be cancer. I do believe that HPV would be highly likely though. I had an irregular pap smear after the birth of my second child 10 years ago and underwent cryotherapy after testing positive for cervical HPV and have had normal paps since but I have been with my husband for 14 years and obviously the possibility of transfer orally exists.
I cannot find anything on the web that doesn't indicate cancer when you search for lump on tonsil. The closest thing I could find was a papilloma but that still sounded dangerous. I can't even look at my children who are 11, 10, and 6 without beginning to cry I am so concerned. Are there benign causes or does this sound similar to anyone's symptoms of cancer?
Thank you for your time

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#147435 - 03/23/12 07:28 PM Re: Small lesion in right tonsillar area [Re: jayewallace]
ChristineB Online   content
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 8475
Loc: PA
Congrats on your being able to quit smoking! Especially by quitting cold turkey!!! Please do your best to remain tobacco free. Unfortunately even a light smoker faces a higher risk of getting all kinds of things.

Try to stay busy so you do not panic. You dont know what is wrong yet so getting upset wont help. It will only make you feel much worse about your situation. It could be any number of different things which are not serious. I hope you get in to see an ENT in the near future. make sure that your ENT is familiar with treating oral cancer patients so they will be able to do a biopsy if your sore looks suspicious. After the biopsy it will take about a week to get the results.
Diagnosis info from the main OCF pages

Here is a gallery of lesions. Cick on each photo and then on the diagnosis. Im sure you will be surprised by some of the photos. Some of them I was sure were cancer but they turned out to be something else. This will help you to understand how many other things could be going on inside your mouth.
OCF Photo Gallery

Sorry but I am not familiar with how common it is for HPV to spread from one region to another. Even if you would be HPV+ it doesnt mean whats going on in your mouth has anything to do with that. Only a small percentage of HPV+ patients end up having cancer related to HPV.
Main OCF pages, HPV info


Edited by ChristineB (03/23/12 07:32 PM)
Edit Reason: + link
_________________________
Christine
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

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#147468 - 03/26/12 02:32 AM Re: Small lesion in right tonsillar area [Re: ChristineB]
Kerri Offline
"Above & Beyond" Member (500+ posts)

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 501
Loc: MA
Hi, there!

I would suggest really pushing to see that ENT very soon. Someone with your symptoms should not wait around a month. Strings need to be pulled to get you in much sooner, if not just for your piece of mind. Like Christine said, please seek out an ENT (otolaryngologist)that specializes in head & neck oncology (cancer).

Have you received any results from your other tests, such as the X-ray or Upper GI series?

I am not saying these things to alarm you. It's just that IF it is oral cancer, it's not something where you can afford time to wait to see a specialist.

Here's to hoping that it's nothing serious. We are all here to help and support you through this. Please keep us posted and best of luck to you!

Kerri
_________________________
37 y/o fem at Dx (23 wks preg @ dx on 3/16/11)
SCC L oral tongue (no risk factors)
L partial gloss/SND 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.
Just turned 40 and grateful! Hoping for 40 more!

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