Tongue Cancer Limbo

Portal Forums Member Updates Head/Neck Cancer Member Updates Tongue Cancer Limbo


This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Dr. Weiss 4 years, 10 months ago.

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October 16, 2013 at 11:24 pm  #1259919    


A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Tongue Cancer. Although the primary cause was never identified; since I have never used tobacco products the likely cause was put down as alcohol or HPV. Removal of the lesion through surgery was chosen as the best course of action and completed successfully with no loss of speech or taste. After the surgery I made very focused changes to diet and lifestyle.

Fast forward to today. There are several white spots that are still present at the site of the lesion and at the edges of the surgical cut. While they definitely do not look malign like the lesion, they are not dissipating. Rather they have changed in shape and grown slightly larger in size size (especially the ones at the edges of the surgical cut).

Despite the changes to the area the current course of action is wait and see. No biopsy of the area. So it feels a bit like limbo. While the I’m not by any means eager to either go have another biopsy or surgery. Having lost one close friend to lung cancer this year and helped an another close friend deal with stage 4 throat cancer; I’m simply very thankful for my health and time.

I do believe in being proactive. Experience has shown it can only help. Are there other measures or courses of action to aware of?

October 17, 2013 at 10:51 am  #1259926    
catdander forum moderator
catdander forum moderator

Hello auburnfarmer, Welcome to Grace. I hope this is nothing but scar or some other benign process. I appreciate your defending your proactive self advocacy and as you may guess we who use Grace fit into that trait too. We too believe that self advocacy is a must in our explosively growing changing healthcare environment. Doctors aren’t (all) super-humans and just can’t keep up with everything, it’s one reason Dr. West started Grace.

Unless I’m mistaken cancer of the tongue fits into head and neck cancers for which we have an expert, Dr. Weiss. I’ll ask him for comment. You should hear back in a bit.

Don’t feel you must answer this but are you in Auburn Alabama? I have a nephew there who is a horticulturist at the arboretum.

All best,
forum moderator

October 17, 2013 at 12:07 pm  #1259928    


Thank you Janine,

Washington, not Alabama. Horticulture is a fascinating profession. Being at the local arboretum there must be a blast for him.

October 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm  #1259931    

Dr. Weiss

There are many causes for white spots in the mouth from thrush (a fungus that is easily cured) to cancer (which definitely can appear as white spots). In a patient with a history of oral cancer, appearance of new lesions usually triggers a biopsy unless there is a clear, convincing alternative diagnosis that is benign. This is especially true when the new spots are near the old cancer and when they are growing. You might consider asking your doctor why he/she feels that a biopsy is not indicated. You might also consider getting a second opinion from an ENT who specializes in cancer.

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