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#196005 03-30-2018 07:12 AM
Joined: Mar 2018
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Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 3
Hello, and thanks for allowing me to join this group.

Here's my story: I first noticed a tiny lesion on the side of my tongue two months ago. Dismissing it as a canker sore (of course!), I did nothing about it. It was tiny and didn't hurt at first. But it grew and became tender and somewhat firm to the touch. Now it is quite painful, especially when speaking, which is bad for me, since I work in radio and talk for a living! Eating is also uncomfortable, though surprisingly to me, not as much so as talking. Saw my dentist for some other dental work, asked him to look at it, was immediately referred to oral surgeon for biopsy.

I saw the oral surgeon this week. She pointed out that there is some white leukoplakia around the lesion, and also that the lesion is comparatively small--about 1 cm x 1 cm. So we have scheduled an excisional biopsy for next Wednesday, and she will remove the entire lesion to send to pathology. I've been researching what I may be facing here, and I alternate between thinking "It's nothing" and thinking it will be either precancerous or malignant and being terrified. Though, if malignant, the oral surgeon believes we have caught it in an early stage.

Since I saw the oral surgeon earlier this week, I have noticed a small vertical line of red, topped by another small glob of white leukoplakia, a little farther back on the tongue from the original lesion. Is this an erythroplakia forming? Is it common for more than one area to form like that? (I know, I know, I'll ask the doc when I go in, but wondering about others' experiences.) There are also two or three very small white lesions and what looks to me look a larger area of red even farther back on the tongue. Maybe it's just my anxiety, maybe not.

Again, just seeking insight from others who may have gone through this. As I said, I'm a broadcaster, and being able to talk clearly is my livelihood. I don't mind telling that the idea of having my speech altered is a fairly frightening prospect to me.

Also--I am 54, male, have never used tobacco in any form and am a very light drinker (2-3 beers per month, liquor maybe twice a year--I'm a lightweight!).

Thanks for any insights you may have.

Journey27 #196007 03-30-2018 08:35 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
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Welcome to the forum. I’m sorry about the situation you find yourself in. I totally get that you’re worried as i’ve been through the cancer journey with my husband. At this point, it would help if you could take it a step at a time. Since you have been seen by an oral surgeon, you really have no need for Dr. Google. When the worry sets in, go take a walk or do something that you enjoy to help put your mind at ease. There is little you can do right now until you get the biopsy results. If your speech is affected by the treatments down the road, you can access the services of a speech and language pathologist. A lot of members of this forum have done that. Please keep us posted, we would like to know how you’re getting on.


Gloria
She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails... Elizabeth Edwards

Wife to John,dx 10/2012, BOT, HPV+, T3N2MO, RAD 70 gy,Cisplatinx2 , PEG in Dec 6, 2012, dx dvt in both legs after second chemo session, Apr 03/13 NED, July 2013 met to lungs, Phase 1 immunotherapy trial Jan 18/14 to July/14. Taxol/carboplatin July/14. Esophagus re-opened Oct 14. PEG out April 8, 2015. Phase 2 trial of Selinexor April to July 2015. At peace Jan 15, 2016.
gmcraft #196012 03-30-2018 01:58 PM
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My husband had bilat tonsillectomy for (HPV 16) oral cancer in Nov 2017. He does voice-overs as part of his work and was also very worried like you are. He didn't exactly sound like himself ( to me either) when he first went back to work, but he is much more critical of his voice than others. Thankfully, on his first day back they had him do a voice-over and has done many since then. I know you're looking at tongue surgery, not the tonsils, and each person has a unique situation and outcome.I just wanted to let you know there is hope and people with success in returning to work doing what they love. We are lucky to be in an area with a clinic to deal with voice therapy for professionals. It really helped him. He did not elect to have radiation, and chemo was not indicated because the cancer and node were encapsulated. Read the posts on the topic "I wish I had known" I really picked up some awesome tips. You will learn things, unfortunately, MDs will not think to tell you, but are most helpful. Good luck to you.


Melba
Journey27 #196013 03-31-2018 05:45 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,267
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Journey27,

As part of my follow-up, I see a speech and language pathologist, actually I was lucky enough to see a number of them at different hospitals, some with an otolaryngologist or voice doctor. Some places have professional singers and actors that go there, besides cancer patients, so there are places like these for everyone.


Good luck


10/09 T1N2bM0 Tonsil
11/09 Taxo Cisp 5-FU, 6 Months Hosp
01/11 35 IMRT 70Gy 7 Wks
06/11 30 HBO
08/11 RND PNI
06/12 SND PNI LVI
08/12 RND Pec Flap IORT 12 Gy
10/12 25 IMRT 50Gy 6 Wks Taxo Erbitux
10/13 SND
10/13 TBO/Angiograph
10/13 RND Carotid Remove IORT 10Gy PNI
12/13 25 Protons 50Gy 6 Wks Carbo
11/14 All Teeth Extract 30 HBO
03/15 Sequestromy Buccal Flap ORN
09/16 Mandibulectomy Fib Flap Sternotomy
04/17 Regraft hypergranulation Donor Site
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02/19 Finally Cancer Free Took 10 yrs







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