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How long can cancer be undiagnosed before it becomes advanced?
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How long can cancer be undiagnosed before it becomes advanced?

I am a 24 year old female and 5 days ago I noticed a lump on the floor of my mouth on the right side below my teeth. I used to be a very heavy smoker but quit last month. I am pretty sure the lump has gotten larger and at this point it is about 3/4 the size of a pea. It is not visible but I can feel it with my tongue and it is painful when I touch it but that may be because I keep irritating it because I am obsessing over it. It is almost a little sharp and very hard and doesn't feel like a cyst as I get those often. I also have a sore throat and trouble breathing. I am also concerned because I read that somehow mouth cancer is linked to liver function and I had a liver function test a few months ago that yielded poor results.  Yesterday I went to an ENT to see if it is a concern and he said that because of my age it is not a concern and to return in 6 months. I am very worried still and I was wondering if in 6 months it could become advanced? So I guess my question is; does what I have sound like oral cancer and could it become advanced in the matter of months? How fast does a cancerous lump grow and how in the world is anyone suppose to tell the difference between a cancerous lump, a tori, a cyst or a saliva stone?
Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? It is good that you were able to see your ENT doctor and evaluation has been done. Monitoring of certain lesions usually is done every 6 months and not sooner to ensure that enough time has passed to note any significant difference. Oral cancer usually presents with any sore, lump, or ulcer in the mouth; chewing problems, speech difficulties, swallowing difficulty, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and weight loss. Tests used to confirm oral cancer include:gum or tongue biopsy. The length of time for a cancer to be an advanced case varies. And there are many factors to consider such as your age, medical history, and the symptoms present. To ease any anxiety. you could also get a second opinion from another ENT. Take care and do keep us posted.
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