Cancer of the Mouth and Throat

Question:

What are the symptoms and signs of your mouth and throat cancer? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Lori , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 31

I had a ticklish sensation in my throat, irritation in my ear and I was suffering from vertigo. The general physician (GP) gave me one week’s course of antibiotics but I did express concern that it could be something ‘nasty’. The following week my diligent GP fast-tracked me to the ENT. Nothing was seen on the scope. CT scan showed nothing, biopsy returned diagnosis of cancer of the soft palate. I had 30 radiotherapy sessions, and I am a year and 1/2 post treatment. Thank goodness for me having a great GP, great NHS, and voicing my worry.

Comment from: vermonter, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 26

I had constant pressure in ears for over a year. I have a growth on the tonsil about 1/2 inch, and one in the throat about 1.5 inch. It feels like tickling, my throat is sore, dry, red, and covered in white bumps. My mouth is yellow, I have a sharp pain in the left neck, and it feels swollen. I am lightheaded, dizzy, I get exhausted early and sleep 18 to 40 hours at times. I crave sugar in coffee. I feel full with just 4 to 5 bites of food, and feel sick if I force more. I have arthritis throughout my body. I am worried that it is cancer.

Comment from: Dew5289, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 09

My mother had a sore on her tongue that she thought was because of a jagged tooth. It wasn't horribly painful at first but the day came she decided to go get the tooth pulled because her pain was becoming worse. They pulled her tooth and sent her home. The pain only got worse and she decided it was because she needed another tooth pulled. She was wrong. When she went back she expressed her concerns and the dentist sent her to get a biopsy. Squamous cell carcinoma; throat cancer.

Comment from: bstang, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 17

I went to the doctor complaining of a sore on the back of my tongue. After three years of minor treatment, they sent me to an ENT who checked it and said it wasn't serious. A year later after telling my primary doctors it wasn't getting better, they sent me back to the ENT, this time she took a biopsy and scheduled me to come back in 8 days. I went in today and was told it was tongue cancer but is too far back for her to operate. She said I must have surgery, but don't know when. My outlook is bleak.

Comment from: Anxious Dad, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 21

I noticed that my throat was sore on one side. It didn't bother me much. Some days I didn't even feel it. I ignored it. I am not one to go to the doctor for a minor sore throat! After a month or two had passed with no change, I noticed a strange numbness on the side of my head and at the same time a painless swelling in my neck. My daughter pushed me to see a doctor. Yesterday they confirmed it to be squamous cell carcinoma. I am in shock! Of course, I now wish I'd gone to see the doctor! The side effects of the treatment look awful, but it is better than the alternative. Wish me strength as I do for you.

Comment from: Natem, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 21

I have a concern about cancer with something on one of my tonsils but I'm having a hard time seeing a doctor because of the virus right now.

Comment from: GJS, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 12

I have not been diagnosed with mouth cancer. I have extremely dry mouth, and it is so bad it is causing my teeth to go bad. Because of the dryness food clings to my teeth. I have several white patches in my mouth. I get lesions and I'm losing teeth. I can’t get help as I don't have much money and I don't have dental insurance. I feel that I may have cancer in the mouth.

Comment from: Bunniev, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 10

I am 22 year old and have been a smoker since I was 18. I recently noticed that my left tonsil has become swollen and has been causing me to have severe ear pain. I have been taking medicines and a steroid to help but it only seems to help for a small amount of time and I wake up the next day with what seems like worse pain than the day before. I am having trouble swallowing and it is very painful. I am wondering if I should go to a doctor for a more serious cause, than a sore throat, perhaps throat cancer.

Comment from: Rooney, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 04

I have had no ability to taste food or drink since diagnosis with mouth and throat cancer. I can smell food but cannot taste anything.

Comment from: aud123, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

Months ago I was noticing a white patch on my tongue. Being too busy I dismissed it as something my inhalers did from asthma. When my tongue started to feel irritated I went to an ENT Doctor (ear, nose and throat). I was pawned off to her assistant who treated me for thrush for a month. Finally, I insisted on seeing the actual doctor who upon first sight of my tongue suggested a biopsy from a good hospital. I called the hospital and couldn't get an appointment for a month. Finally, two days after a painful biopsy I was told I had squamous cell carcinoma (cancer) in my mouth. I'm looking at losing close to half my tongue to surgery because I had bad medical treatment. Let's face it. The earlier you catch cancer the better the outcome will be. Needless to say if you look in your mouth and your tongue looks questionable go to an oral surgeon and have a biopsy ASAP. Good Health to all.

QUESTION

What causes tooth decay? See Answer
Comment from: mrinal , 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: August 21

My tongue pimple and tonsil pain were my symptoms of mouth and throat cancer.

Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 08

I went to the ENT because my wife and I could not sleep in the same room because my snoring kept her awake. The ENT looked at my throat and then at my neck. He noticed my lymph nodes swollen on both sides of my neck and said he needed to do a biopsy. It came back positive for cancer. He immediately set me up with the Radiologist and Chemo Doctors and I started treatment soon after. After 35 radiation treatments and 6 chemo treatments, I finished up and rested to recover. I tried to work but was unable physically and emotionally. I kept my weight up (after losing over 50 LBs) with my feeding tube and Boost+. Finally after 9-10 months on the feeding, I was able to eat food. It started off slowly but gradually I could eat again and just in time for the holidays. I have to eat a lot slower and chew my food really well. But it is good to be pretty much back to normal. There is hope for throat cancer victims. By the way, my Chemo doctor told me I am one of the only cancer victims he could think of who did not smoke or drink. Who knows what causes the cancer.

Comment from: Kathy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 10

I have had a sore throat for 4 weeks now, told it was a virus first time and second time, and throat swabs taken third time but nothing. I now have had a sore tongue for a couple of days, but feel like I’m hounding the doctor, and not sure if I should go see the doctor or not. I am concerned about throat cancer.

Comment from: BJH, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

I have squamous cell carcinoma. It started with sore throat, massive headaches, difficulty breathing, five non-cancerous tumors in the thyroid and five in the throat starting at the tonsil area. Now I have difficulty speaking. The tumors are all the way over to the back of each ear, and lymph nodes at the base of the neck.

Comment from: Radel, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: July 12

My husband went to his ENT doctor for an ear infection. He asked him to check the side of his neck, he felt a knot there, the ENT told him it was TMJ and that it will go away in 2-4 weeks by itself. My husband was waiting for the TMJ to go away, until he could not stand the headaches any longer, he had me made an appointment with his primary doctor who told him he had never seen anything like this and he sent him to a ENT specialist. After a biopsy he was told he had tongue cancer. Numerous cat scans and MRI later, he found out the cancer had spread to the chest and bones. After the PET scan, he was told the cancer is not in his bones but in his lungs and that the cancer in the lungs is not lung cancer. It is cancer that spread from his tongue the lungs. Had his ENT Doctor told him on "you better get this checked out" and had he not told him this is TMJ, perhaps things would be a lot better today. I am sorry I did not push him to see a doctor much sooner.

Comment from: judbrath, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 18

In 2001 I bit my tongue which bled severely. I had to go to the dentist some months later I had noticed 2 white spots on my tongue and he referred me to the emergency dental hospital. The emergency hospital took a biopsy and I was diagnosed with tongue cancer and subsequently had the cancer removed using laser surgery. This year I noticed a problem again with my mouth but was unable to follow it up immediately. I went to my local GP and he treated me for thrush and also informed my local hospital. After a CT scan and an MRI scan, I now have to go into hospital for a really serious operation. I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma that will involve neck dissection, removing my lower front teeth and grafting skin from my wrist onto my tongue. Ii am a 63 year old male and running scared.

Comment from: 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 11

i cant even LOOK at your site without putting my hand over the side roll of gross pictures. this is the 3rd time I have tried this site... but i cant handle it. Dial down the shock factor, will ya???

Comment from: Kay, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 30

Excellent material. Thanks! I was diagnosed today, with squamous cell cancer, inside my mouth. This material has helped me to prepare & be more excepting of things I will have to go through.

Comment from: GR, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

I noticed a persistent soreness in my mouth after a short bout of flu. It felt like it was on the floor of my mouth between my side teeth and my gum on the left. My husband said it looked like an ulcer which I have never had before. It was "treated" unsuccessfully with three different types of antibiotics. My GP ordered swab tests for viruses, blood tests and finally referred me to the ENT specialist at the hospital. Now, today, nearly 5 months later, after an MRI last Thursday and multiple mouth biopsies on Friday I have been told I have cancer of the soft palate.

SLIDESHOW

Mouth Problems: TMJ, Canker Sores, Painful Gums and More See Slideshow
Comment from: maggie, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 11

Fourteen years ago I had a sore in the roof of mouth, dentist passed it off as "burnt ." After three more months of pain and bleeding, and putting caps on front teeth, I insisted I did not burn my mouth, and I was sent for a biopsy. I was told it was cancer. I had extensive surgery, and two years later, another spot appeared and was treated. Now I have another large portion inside of cheek, and will have surgery next week. Make sure your dentist does not blow you off when a spot appears where is should not be.

Comment from: concerned, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 17

My son is 17 years of age and I took him to the dentist for a cleaning and the dentist found a white patch on his upper left gum. He told us that my son had the beginnings of mouth cancer and for him to stop smoking.

Comment from: Alicia, (Caregiver) Published: February 11

Excellent, comprehensive, and clinically relevant information. Extremely helpful to begin to understand complexicity of oral cancers. Thank you. A. Perez, MD

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