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Joined: Nov 2018
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Hi everyone,

Just wanted to begin by saying that this community is amazing in terms of advice, support, and sheer strength. I'm Michael and I'm a 22 year old college student. I should be worrying about finals right now... but, instead I'm panicking about a lump in my mouth that's recently appeared.

A few weeks ago I woke up to a bony, painless, unmovable lump about the size of a BB gun pellet on the left side of my hard palate. It feels deeply embedded, unpoppable, and like bone. I immediately noticed it with my tongue. I had it examined by a GP, who had no clue what it was, so he referred me to an ENT at a cancer care clinic who I will be meeting with this Monday. I've had all three Gardisil shots (so most likely HPV16 negative) and only smoke marijuana, but I do drink a lot as a college student. At this point I feel that oral cancer is a possibility as it still has not resolved itself after three weeks.

I understand that no one here can give out medical advice, but does anyone have a clue as to what this could be? Torus palatinus is often suggested, but that usually occurs symmetrically on the midline of the palate. I have a solid, fixed lump only on the left side of my hard palate, close to one of my molars.

Just concerned and would appreciate any of your thoughts.

Joined: Jun 2017
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Hi Michael,

First and foremost you need to start concentrating on your finals! There's nothing you can do until you meet with the ENT doctors who may very well tell you that it's not cancer - no one knows for sure except the doctors.

Now, it's easy for me to say....right?

Does this mass you have bleed at all? When my mass first appeared it was solid but it would bleed - without having any pain.

Hopefully you can take my advice and try to stay concentrated on your studies!

Please let us know your results on Monday,

Susan


Susan
04.12.16 1st surgery; rt partial glossectomy; neck dissection; 2/38 lymph nodes positive
05.12.16 Resected T2, N2b, M0
05.24.16 Rad, Cisplatin
10.03.16 Clear PET
04.11.17 Clear PET
06.09.17 1st recur
06.21.17 2nd Surg: rt partial glossectomy; forearm free flap; rt thigh skin graft
11.09.17 2nd recur
11.30.17 Nivolumab
02.06-16.18 Brachytherapy
06.12.18 3rd recur
06.12.18 Lt axillary lymph node SCC
07.05.18 Pain pump placd
08.23.18 Pump removd
10.29.18 PET-CT responds to treatmnt


Joined: Nov 2018
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Hi Magnum,

Thank you for sharing! Whatever this is, it doesn't bleed at all. I've gone crazy digging at it and trying to make it pop or leak, but it doesn't. It almost feels like a smooth piece of bone coming from out of the hard palate. A little red in color, probably from me irritating it.

I'm trying my best to focus, but I'm reminded of it every second of the day! I just wish it would disappear.

Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 30
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I'm not a doctor, of course, but I know if it's not bleeding - especially when you are trying to pop it, etc. - that's a good sign! When my ENT asked me if mine would bleed and I told him "yes" he said that wasn't a good sign and he then believed it to be a cancerous tumor (pre-biopsy results). Of course, upon examining it further he actually made mine bleed which only confirmed what I had told him.

Take a deep breath Michael and slowly exhale - my money is on it NOT being cancer but, then again like I said previously, only a doctor can tell you for sure.

Not back to those books and studying!!


Susan
04.12.16 1st surgery; rt partial glossectomy; neck dissection; 2/38 lymph nodes positive
05.12.16 Resected T2, N2b, M0
05.24.16 Rad, Cisplatin
10.03.16 Clear PET
04.11.17 Clear PET
06.09.17 1st recur
06.21.17 2nd Surg: rt partial glossectomy; forearm free flap; rt thigh skin graft
11.09.17 2nd recur
11.30.17 Nivolumab
02.06-16.18 Brachytherapy
06.12.18 3rd recur
06.12.18 Lt axillary lymph node SCC
07.05.18 Pain pump placd
08.23.18 Pump removd
10.29.18 PET-CT responds to treatmnt


Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 9
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Posts: 9
Magnum,

Thanks for your assurance! It almost feels like a bony protuberance... if I'm lucky, it's just atypical torus palatinus.

I hate the anxiety of dealing with the unknown. I think my doctor will want to do a CT scan on Monday and then schedule a biopsy if the results are concerning. In your experience, are the results made available during the same visit as the CT scan?

Last edited by michaelj; 11-10-2018 04:12 PM.
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Michael,

Yes, my oncologist would always give me the results of my CT scan on the same day. However, that's because she knew the anxiety I would go through awaiting the results so she always had them ready for me that same day.

Try and get your scan first thing in the morning - then you'll have more of a chance getting the results the same day. Keep in mind that your ENT doctor usually has seen more than his share of cancer and should be able to give you a pretty good idea of whether or not it's cancer even before he sends you down for the CT scan.

My ENT doctor took a sample of my tumor while I was sitting in his office - so it was submitted to the lab immediately for a biopsy (I don't remember if I was given those results the same day or not). However, he was able to tell me that he was 95% sure the tumor was cancerous (and he was right!).

So, I would say that within 24-30 hrs from now you should know what's going on in your mouth....please write down all the questions that you have for your doctor. Trust me, once you're in his office tomorrow it'll be very easy to forget what you want to ask him.

Susan


Susan
04.12.16 1st surgery; rt partial glossectomy; neck dissection; 2/38 lymph nodes positive
05.12.16 Resected T2, N2b, M0
05.24.16 Rad, Cisplatin
10.03.16 Clear PET
04.11.17 Clear PET
06.09.17 1st recur
06.21.17 2nd Surg: rt partial glossectomy; forearm free flap; rt thigh skin graft
11.09.17 2nd recur
11.30.17 Nivolumab
02.06-16.18 Brachytherapy
06.12.18 3rd recur
06.12.18 Lt axillary lymph node SCC
07.05.18 Pain pump placd
08.23.18 Pump removd
10.29.18 PET-CT responds to treatmnt


Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 9
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Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 9
Susan,

Will do, I've got a list ready to go.

His secretary told me he brings the scans to a tumor board every Thursday to examine them. I'll see if I can squeeze an answer or educated guess out of him tomorrow. I also hate the anxiety of being in limbo. I'll be posting an update later in the evening tomorrow.

Michael

Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 30
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Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 30
Michael,

I'll be watching for an update from you. Hang in there and think positive! How are the studies going? You don't need any added stress so see if you can take your mind off this for less than 24 hours by studying for those finals! I remember my college finals all too well and I know if you get behind it's very difficult to catch up, so you need to study and be well prepared.

Susan


Susan
04.12.16 1st surgery; rt partial glossectomy; neck dissection; 2/38 lymph nodes positive
05.12.16 Resected T2, N2b, M0
05.24.16 Rad, Cisplatin
10.03.16 Clear PET
04.11.17 Clear PET
06.09.17 1st recur
06.21.17 2nd Surg: rt partial glossectomy; forearm free flap; rt thigh skin graft
11.09.17 2nd recur
11.30.17 Nivolumab
02.06-16.18 Brachytherapy
06.12.18 3rd recur
06.12.18 Lt axillary lymph node SCC
07.05.18 Pain pump placd
08.23.18 Pump removd
10.29.18 PET-CT responds to treatmnt


Joined: Jun 2007
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Next time you see your doc, ask if you can attend the tumor board meeting. If you are going to a comprehensive cancer center (CCC), patients are allowed to attend, caregivers too. Remember all those docs are there working for you.

Waiting is the worst!!!! Preparing for finals should help make passing the time easier. Anything that requires concentration, is something positive and complex should do the trick.

Best wishes!!!


Christine
SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07
-65 lbs in 2 mo, no caregvr
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 xtended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line IV antibx 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3x in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile
Joined: Dec 2017
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Hello Michael,
Someone once told me that when you hear the hoofbeats look for the horse, not the zebra. More than likely its what you suggested, a torus palatinus. We are not medical folks, so we cannot diagnose. You are doing the right thing by getting evaluated. Best of luck at your appointment!


Melba
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