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#114264 03-18-2010 08:46 PM
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First let me preface that I am an idiot. I am 43 years old. I dipped a very popular snuff (not to use product names) for 18 years from 1984 to 2002. When the product got to 3.50 a can I quit for financial reasons for 4 years. For some reason in 2006 I took a dip of another product that was 1.50 a can and started all over and have been at a can a day until about a week ago.

About 3-4 weeks ago I noticed a white patch on my lower lip. Being a smokeless tobacco user I am used to sores etc. but when it did not go away in over 2 weeks I got a little concerned. I still wrote it off to probably nothing until last week when I started experiencing some soreness in my right jaw and ear. My wife was diagnosed with strep about 2 weeks ago so I got a strep test and it came back negative. The soreness has increased the past week and I constantly have a bad taste in my mouth. From everything I have read these are symptoms of oral cancer.

My questions are: Are these typical symptons? I have not had a screening yet. Where do I go? Denist? ENT? Primary Care Physician?

The good news is I have not had a dip in over a week. The bad news is I also use to drink alchohol 2-3 times a week and dipped twice as much every time I drank. I also contracted the HPV virus some 20 years ago while in college and although the warts has only appeared a couple of times since I have been married (17 years and my wife has showed no signs and know I have had them) I have read that this also increases my chances of oral cancer.

I realize some would think I may be over reacting but I have never felt these symptoms before. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. My prayers are with everyone in this forum battling cancer. I also pray that I do not have it but I accept the fact that I deserve it with the idiotic lifestyle I have lived.

lsmith1539 #114269 03-18-2010 10:40 PM
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The HPV that cause warts is not the same one that causes cancers. The white patch is likely just keritosis of the tissue from being irritated by the dip or leukoplakia, from the same thing. If they do not resolve after no tobacco use in a few weeks I'd have a professional take a look at it. I bet you have some kind of bacterial infection. Bad taste in your mouth is NOT a symptom of oral cancer. The ear pain could be, but being around someone with strep and and maybe having a bacterial infection it would not be unusual for you to develop soreness in the lymph nodes in that area.

Of course no one over the web can really tell you what's what. Only a dentist or an ENT doc that have experience with screening for oral caner could put a name on the problem. Suffice it to say that in the long run dip will cause some pretty negative things, and maybe this wake up call to that possibility will turn out to be a good thing, and you'll leave that behavior in your past.... Get it checked out and don't worry about a worse case scenario until a doctor tells you it is something serious.


Brian, stage 4 oral cancer survivor. OCF Founder and Director. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.
Brian Hill #114551 03-25-2010 06:45 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I had a scheduled physical with my PCP yesterday and had him look at it. He was not overly concerned but concerned enough to refer me to an ENT.

I still have the white patch on lip going on over a month now. The soreness on the right side of my jaw and ear is going on 3 weeks. It may be getting a little worse, more so in the mornings. About 5 days ago I noticed a red dot on the inside of my cheek on the right side. At the time I wrote it off as possibly biting the inside of my cheek but checked again last night and not only was it still there but an identical one is on the other side. Both are painless.

My question is if it is cancer how fast do these things spread. My PCP seems to be dragging his feet a little on the referral. Should I contact my dentist? Would he be better at diagnosing than a ENT?


lsmith1539 #114563 03-25-2010 12:07 PM
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The dentist do look out for signs of cancer but ENTs deal with it and operate on it. Follow your doctor's advice on this one and have your ENT take a look. Best of luck with a favorable outcome.


Bill . . . SCC - originated in right tonsil, drifted into neck ( 28 lymph nodes removed - one positive ). Radical neck dissection in September 07, completed 34 radiation tx on January 4, 2008. Used Peg. Non smoker, 61, good shape, no previous health issues. Second year PET scan - "all clear".
William1949 #114571 03-25-2010 02:51 PM
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I got a call from from my doctor today and the earliest ENT appointment they could set me up with is April 14th, almost 3 weeks away. I am just concerned that if it is cancer is it possible to spread alot during this time? I think I have to have a PCP referral for my insurance to cover.

lsmith1539 #114725 03-29-2010 09:46 PM
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OK to be honest I was going to mess with you and tell you that in 3 weeks it would spread so much that you wouldn't have a face afterwards...but I'm not feeling it tonight so I'll say that in all honesty you'll be fine.

I had a stage 4 tumor go unnoticed and untreated for months (FYI stage 4 is the worst stage) and then had to wait over a month to start treatment after being diagnosed....so take a breath and take this common advice to heart..."It's NOT cancer until a biopsy says it is."

Hopefully it'll scare the shit out of you enough to stop dippin though...here's to hope lol.

Good luck and best wishes,

Eric


Young Frack, SCC T4N2M0, Cisplatin,35+ rads,ND, RT Mandiblectomy w fibular free flap, facial paralysis, "He who has a "why" to live can bear with almost any "how"." -Nietzche "WARNING" PG-13 due to Sarcasm & WAY too much attitude, interact at your own risk.
EricS #114750 03-30-2010 11:25 AM
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[quote]Hopefully it'll scare the shit out of you enough to stop dippin though...here's to hope lol.[/quote]

It has. Been 2 weeks without one. Using the nicotine gum which is probably not alot safer but the last time I quit I was only on the gum for a couple of months and went 4 years before I started back dipping like an idiot.

lsmith1539 #114751 03-30-2010 11:28 AM
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On another note the soreness in my throat, jaw, and ear seems alot better after taking Advil for about 3-4 days. White patch is still there however.

lsmith1539 #114763 03-30-2010 02:29 PM
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Quitting BTW means never using tobacco again for the REST OF YOUR LIFE!!


David

Age 58 at Dx, HPV16+ SCC, Stage IV BOT+2 nodes, non smoker, casual drinker, exercise nut, Cisplatin x 3 & concurrent IMRT x 35,(70 Gy), no surgery, no Peg, Tx at Moffitt over Aug 06. Jun 07, back to riding my bike 100 miles a wk. Now doing 12 Spin classes and 60 outdoor miles per wk. Nov 13 completed Hilly Century ride for Cancer, 104 miles, 1st Place in my age group. Apr 2014 & 15, Spun for 9 straight hrs to raise $$ for YMCA's Livestrong Program. Certified Spin Instructor Jun 2014.
davidcpa #114771 03-30-2010 03:46 PM
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Smith,

I do want to say though, that don't feel that anyone on here is judging you for using tobacco, just stressing the importance of quitting and not using it again. Nobody deserves to get this disease, even if they've made the decision to use tobacco.

If you dodge a bullet in this case and your results come back clear, don't take it as a license to dip.

With all of that being said, good luck to you, I hope it turns out to be just a scare.

Eric


Young Frack, SCC T4N2M0, Cisplatin,35+ rads,ND, RT Mandiblectomy w fibular free flap, facial paralysis, "He who has a "why" to live can bear with almost any "how"." -Nietzche "WARNING" PG-13 due to Sarcasm & WAY too much attitude, interact at your own risk.
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