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Abscess Not Healing #200558
11-20-2020 09:41 AM
11-20-2020 09:41 AM
Joined: Nov 2020
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Alex123 Offline OP
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Alex123  Offline OP
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I had a lump on my gum for about 2 months before seeing a dentist, because of other health issues. The dentist diagnosed an abscess and gave me antibiotics.
After 2 weeks the lump / abscess was more painful so saw dentist again. Dentist still diagnosed it as an abscess, drained it and gave more antibiotics and arranged to remove wisdom tooth which was done 3 weeks later. The incisions from the draining didn't heal and it became even more painful.
It's now 4 weeks after the wisdom tooth was removed and the incisions plus abscess / lump are still not healing. Since removing the wisdom tooth a large soft white lump has appeared in the gum where the tooth was, and it connects to the lump / abscess.
The dentist has now taken a biopsy and has suggested a deep cleaning but I'm not sure if that's a good idea without the results of the biopsy. They said the lump was now suspect, and probably not an abscess but they couldn't tell me what the new white lump was, and I'm a bit worried that they lack knowledge. Seriously worried and wondering if I should find another dentist?

ETA - I'm 50s, never smoked, drank a bit as a youngster but max. 1 bottle of wine a week these days, and often less.

Last edited by Alex123; 11-20-2020 10:21 AM.
Re: Abscess Not Healing [Re: Alex123] #200559
11-20-2020 02:39 PM
11-20-2020 02:39 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
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Toronto, Canada
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gmcraft Offline
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Welcome to the forum. The biopsy is an important step. It is the procedure that will tell you if it’s what we all fear. Hopefully, your dentist will refer you to an ENT with experience with treating OC, or refer you to a comprehensive cancer centre in your area. Hopefully that won’t come to pass and you are in the clear. Keep calm and take it one day at a time until you hear the results. Do keep us posted when you find out.


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.
Re: Abscess Not Healing [Re: gmcraft] #200561
11-21-2020 05:36 AM
11-21-2020 05:36 AM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 93
Boston suburb
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tlc356 Offline
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Boston suburb
Dentists are great with teeth. your concern is about potential cancer. Therefore, find an oral cancer specialist.
I see you are in MA. So am I. Dana Farber has one of the best "Head and Neck" cancer teams. If I were you I'd get an appointment with them-easily done on-line.
Private message me if you think I may be able to help.

Last edited by tlc356; 11-21-2020 05:36 AM.

SCC stage 1 Nov. '03,
SCC stage 2 (clear mrg, no rad, no chemo) RND, Feb. '15

TLC356
Re: Abscess Not Healing [Re: tlc356] #200562
11-21-2020 06:50 PM
11-21-2020 06:50 PM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 3
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Alex123 Offline OP
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Alex123  Offline OP
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My apologies. I'm in Maine not Mass. For some reason I thought I was typing the full state name blush

As the biopsy has been done should I wait for the results then I can take them to the specialist, instead of them having to do another biopsy? The dentist said it may take a few weeks to get the results, and they cannot be given over the phone.

Sorry about the questions. This is new to me, and I don't have anyone to ask. Plus with Covid-19 I have to see the dentist or doctor alone.

Last edited by Alex123; 11-21-2020 06:55 PM.
Re: Abscess Not Healing [Re: Alex123] #200565
11-22-2020 08:22 AM
11-22-2020 08:22 AM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 93
Boston suburb
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tlc356 Offline
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tlc356  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 93
Boston suburb
I'm not a Doc so I don't know the answer. I can tell you that if it is cancer, waiting only lets the cancer grow. Book an appointment, and you can ask the lab to send the results to Dana-Farber. If the results are not available for your appointment, your Doctor will handle it.

If it is a very long drive to Boston, you could check to see if D-F has affiliate hospitals in Maine. I know they work with several in other parts of MA. Remember, if it is cancer, a long ride is the last thing to worry about.
A quick Google search shows two affiliates in Brewer and Topsham, ME. Note the statement that Dana-Farber is not responsible for the care provided at these locations:
Benefits of Collaborative membership
Dana-Farber Collaborative membership enhances educational opportunities for member hospitals' staffs; offers opportunities for members to consult with medical specialists at Dana-Farber in Boston; and provides members with expedited access to Dana-Farber's main campus in Boston for their patients with complex cancers. Members can also take advantage of access to Dana-Farber support services, such as on-site specialty second opinion clinics, clinical trials, tumor board conferences, and physician lectures.

Dana-Farber is not responsible for the care provided at these locations.

Members of the Dana-Farber Cancer Care Collaborative — Adult Medical Oncology
Berkshire Medical Center Cancer Center, Pittsfield, MA
Cape Cod Hospital, Hyannis, MA
Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC) Lafayette Family Cancer Center, Brewer, ME
New England Cancer Specialists, Kennebunk, Scarborough, and Topsham, ME




Last edited by tlc356; 11-22-2020 08:28 AM.

SCC stage 1 Nov. '03,
SCC stage 2 (clear mrg, no rad, no chemo) RND, Feb. '15

TLC356
Re: Abscess Not Healing [Re: tlc356] #200569
11-24-2020 02:42 PM
11-24-2020 02:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 3
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Alex123 Offline OP
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Alex123  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 3
Thank you for the information. I'm going to investigate the options. I understand what you say about the drive vs. cancer, however with winter fast approaching I do need to consider it. I think Boston would definitely be too far, especially if I needed to make multiple trips.

I called the dentist today to see if they had any news and to ask where the biopsy had been sent. They are going to chase the results, and from the discussion it sounds like once they have the biopsy results they plan to refer me to a specialist, so having an idea of which one I'd prefer will be helpful. They seemed to say that when they refer me they will send the x-rays they took a month ago so I'm assuming that they would be helpful in speeding things up, but I'm not sure? When I went for the biopsy the dentist looked at the x-rays and said there was no sign of anything shown on them but I'm guessing I need something more recent?

Last edited by Alex123; 11-24-2020 04:10 PM.
Re: Abscess Not Healing [Re: Alex123] #200570
11-25-2020 04:28 AM
11-25-2020 04:28 AM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 93
Boston suburb
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tlc356 Offline
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tlc356  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 93
Boston suburb
I agree about the long drive-no need to take that drive unless there is an important need. You'll know better when the results come back.


SCC stage 1 Nov. '03,
SCC stage 2 (clear mrg, no rad, no chemo) RND, Feb. '15

TLC356
Re: Abscess Not Healing [Re: tlc356] #200571
11-25-2020 01:12 PM
11-25-2020 01:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 235
NY state
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travelottie Offline
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Joined: Oct 2008
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NY state
Keep in mind that a consultation at Dana-Faber, or other large cancer center, includes a team review that includes a medical, surgical and radiation oncologist all during one appt. You are not committed to continue treatment at their facility. In fact they will advise if there is a closer facility for competent treatment. If your biopsy is positive, the slides are sent to Dana-Faber and the pathology report is also rechecked.

I highly recommend seeking this type of second opinion. A new patient coordinator walks you through all of this.This is what my husband did and it was a relief when Dana-Faber's team agreed with the treatment plan from his local oncologist. We moved forward without second guessing our decisions.


CG to husband, dx @ age 65, nonsmoker/social drinker. Dx 5/08 SCC Stage IV, BOT T1N2aM0. 33 IMRT - completed 9/12/08. Induction Chemo (Cisplatin, Taxotere & 5FU), plus concurrent Cisplatin.
1/09 PEG removed; 5/09 neg PET/CT; 5/10 PET/CT NED
Dental extraction & HBOT 2013; ORN 2014; Debridement/Tissue Transfer & HBOT 2016

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