I am new to the forum and glad I found this site. I am 36 years old and was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Tongue back in June 2015. In July 2015, I had a partial glossectomy to remove the tumor on the right side of my tongue and a neck dissection on that same side to make sure it hadn’t metastasized. Luckily, the cancer was removed successfully and there was no metastization of the lymph nodes on the right side of my neck. Thankfully, no further treatment was needed.
I have been cancer free for a little over 3 years now and I visit my Head & Neck surgeon for routine check ups every 6 months. My next appointment is this Friday. The reason for joining and writing here is because I have a couple things I’m concerned about:
1. I have found a very small reddish/whitish sore on the right side of my tongue - almost directly behind where the original tumor was and it sits right near the surgery scar. The sore is painful at times, but not excruciating. I first noticed it about 1 month ago. I messaged my Dr photos and he was not concerned about it, but said to keep an eye on it. Soon after the messaging, it stopped bothering me. However, in the past several days, I began to feel that same discomfort and I can see the sore.
2. I feel a very tiny lump on the right side of my face which I believe to be the Parotid Gland. It’s not large, but feels different than the left side of my face. I noticed it about 1 year ago, but my Dr said to just keep an eye on it. Then earlier this year, it felt a little larger. My Dr had an ultrasound done which just showed it to be a lymph node and said there was nothing to worry about. About 1 week ago, I woke up with a lot of discomfort in the right side of my face around the gland. It persisted throughout the day and it felt inflamed. I messaged my Dr, who said if it is a lymph node then they are quite reactive and he would be vigilant if greater than 1cm in size. I am unsure if it’s larger than 1cm. It feels small like a pea. Although it’s not painful right now, I have massaged that area multiple times and my jaw and below my ear feel tender.
Could this lymph node or Parotid Gland be reacting to the sore on my tongue? I have several lymph nodes on the right side of my neck that have always felt large, but was also told they are just several lymph nodes lumped together and not to worry.
What would you suggest I have my Dr do this coming Friday? I personally would like a punch biopsy of the tongue and maybe a needle aspiration of the parotid gland to rule anything out. Is that too much to ask for? I am trying to remain calm, but I feel like there have been multiple times where my Dr has said to not worry. Yet, when I was first diagnosed everything was so rushed because this cancer is so uncommon for someone my age. I’m afraid now I’m not being listened to...or maybe I’m just overreacting.
I lost my mother to Melanoma cancer when I was a small child. She was only 25 years old. I know there is trauma from this and I know I have always been somewhat concerned I would get cancer. I know I caused this myself. I used to be a heavy cigarette smoker, but had quit about a year before I was diagnosed. I never drank much alcohol to begin with, and now I maybe have a drink once or twice a year. I am HPV
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long post.