Definitely the smoking and alcohol put you in a higher risk category for oral cancer. In fact, if you have high alcohol consumption and smoking, it can increase your risk exponentially.
I would highly advise you to go see a dentist and get a referral for a biopsy to get it checked out. Its possible it may be a traumatic injury in which case it'll likely heal on its own but with your higher risk factors, it would be safer to make sure and get a complete screening to ensure that nothing else suspicious is going on.
From a lay perspective I don't think it would be something I would be too concerned about. Did you discuss all your concerns with your doctor?
As you are a heavy smoker I think you should be concerned about oral cancer.
The expert here will be better able to advise but I would advise making an appointment with your own dentist. If anything does look suspicious they will be able to refer you for appropriate testing and treatment.
I'm not sure how much the smoking is attributing to your symptoms but if you were to cut back you would be able to ascertain for yourself if smoking is responsible.
Keeping hydrated before, during and after exercise may help a little. Stopping smoking will make the biggest difference.
What has happened in your life to make you want to drink and smoke so much?
Has your experienced frightened you so much you would consider making changes?
Hi Mat. I think the expert did give you good advice.
I agree with the expert. I think that if you feel strongly about it, and it seems that you do, that you should seek another opinion. Make sure you get it from the appropriate person/ specialist though.
I expect some doctors feel burnt out by the number of patients seeking tests, etc for conditions that they are at low risk for. I don't know.
You are allowed to ask doctors questions. Have them explain their rationale for doing or not doing tests. Ask them why they don't appear concerned.
The net is only one source of information. Don't become too neurotic because of what you read. It can drive you nuts thinking you may have conditions which you don't.
Not oral cancer. Maybe it's irrelevant. I was dubious about biopsies being the gold standard when in my experience they aren't reliable.
I have seen several people receive radiation treatment to their faces but again not for oral cancer.
I think, depending on how invasive the biopsy is, that you should opt for that option.
I think you should take one step at a time and not get too far ahead of yourself.
Also, if after a biopsy is done and comes back negative and you are still concerned you may like to see a therapist. Some people become fearful of illnesses and some people will experience emotional symptoms as physical ones.
Get the biopsy done and take it from there. You didn't mention a history of cancer in your family, did you? If there were, that could potentially put you at increased risk.
I shouldn't be saying get a biopsy done. What I mean is talk to a qualified and experienced specialist and let them direct you.
I hope you get some closure to this soon. It sounds quite emotionally and physically draining.
i hope so too, im gonna go look for a second opinion but at this stage its more like the 6th..over the past month ive been to my family doctor 2 ent's a dentist and a mouth specialist i dont think hes called an oral sergeon.. i hate the way some doctors just dont care or they dont think that i could have oral cancer i really dont know wats up coz i have medical insurance. i havent acctually mentioned a biopsy to any of them thought they should know whats needed to be done.. but the more i surf the net the more i think somethings really not right so today im gonna tell my doctor to make an appointment for me at the hospital. u said ur biopsy came back positive for oral cancer, were you treated for it or was it a wrong diagnosis?
A leukoplakia basically means a white plaque. Its not a diagnosis of a condition but rather a description of something. A biopsy is definitely the gold standard when it comes to diagnosing oral cancer so if you do feel strongly about it, I suggest you let the oral surgeon know your concerns and that a biopsy may be the way to go. I would definitely suggest you ask the surgeon again because its important to have a good working relationship with your doctor. If you feel that he isn't doing his part in your patient-doctor relationship, you may want to consider switching or getting a second opinion.
Cheeking biting should only form on the cheek... Its pretty darn near impossible to bite your gums or the palate.
Thanks for sharing this Mat. I seemed to have developed a habit where I get blood blisters on the inside of my cheeks. My dentist told me to stop doing it. For some reason it leads to an increased risk of cancer.
Anyway, I just found your post interesting and are keen to google that term myself.
Surgeons aren't always the best communicators but they are often good at what they do and are also often very knowledgeable.
I had a biopsy a while back (not for oral cancer) and it came back negative although tissue taken during surgery came back positive for cancer. I guess the more tissue taken the more accurate the biopsy is likely to be.
I hope the expert is able to provide you with the answers you're looking for.
hi doctor, i have 1 more question for you if you don't mind. i went to a dentist and he said i have leukoplakia and he refered me to an oral seorgen, but the oral seorgen didnt do a biopsy he just said that its because im biting my cheek but i never bite the left side thats where the leukoplakia is, i told him that i only bite the right side but he was checking my mouth when i said it so he might not have understood what i said.. i tried to tell him when he was done checking my mouth but he went into another room and the assistant was talking to me at the end i was told to minimize my smoking and go back in 3 months for a check up.. so my question is can leukoplakia form anywhere in the mouth from biting my cheek or just that location? and should i find some1 that would take a biopsy?
You can go to a dentist or an oral surgeon and get an oral cancer screening to see if there's anything else going on. I would also strongly encourage you to get screenings twice a year to make sure there's no changes. There's a few tests people do to screen for oral cancer. One is called a Velscope which uses a blue light to look for suspicious tissue. If there is anything suspicious, a biopsy should be done to confirm what it is. The gold standard is a biopsy.
hi, i have been at a nose ear and throat specialist and he said i have mucous membrane inflamation and sinutisus maxillary, could these 2 match my symptoms? the side of my tongue is a little swollen now also. i told him that im a heavy smoker and that i am worried about oral cancer and all he said was this isnt oral cancr yet but i dont feel like he looked at my mouth thoroughly.
hi, yeah i will check it out, thanks for the advise
It often feels easier and safer to avoid all the rubbish going on at home. A messed up home life can be very destabilizing and damaging.
I was only asking because generally people use drugs and alcohol, etc to self-medicate. They are often used to block negative emotions.
Giving up drugs was a good start. The binge drinking is extremely dangerous (as I guess you found out).
I too have had to find out some things the hard way. I don't usually drink, etc but I went through a bad patch at one point and combined alcohol with some meds. I felt very sick, etc and ended up feeling as though I had a hole behind my left eye (as though someone had shot me there). It was extremely stressful and frightening. I feel better but I often wonder about the effects my behaviors have had on my brain.
Following a drug over-dose I would say it takes about nine months before you really start to feel better. It could be shorter or longer for some people.
Your alcohol thing was only several weeks ago. I would give it more time. I'm not sure what that brain condition is but I would give it a bit to settle down completely.
I don't think it's ever too late to change.
Do you mind if I offer a suggestion? I would speak to your doctor and ask to be referred to a psychiatrist or psychotherapist for counselling.
If you were unclear about which path to take you could try asking the expert on the mental health expert forum. I think you have the potential to do great stuff with your life. You are young and I would hate for you to waste it.
I hope your dental appointment goes well and that there is nothing seriously wrong. Your mention of oral cancer reminded me of a stop smoking campaign here.
A person developed oral cancer from smoking. He had a breathing tube in his throat. He couldn't eat. All his nutrition went in a feeding tube to his stomach.
It was actually pretty sad. They pulled the campaign last year some time because he died. In the ad his comment was, "It's not worth it, eh".
I hope things are fine but that you do start to make some changes.
hi, thanks for your advice. i had a stepfather from the age of 11 who was really full of anger and everyday he would find a reason to start an arguement with me or my mother, so when i was 17 i had enough and rather be out with my friends more often even tho i knew they werent the right type of friends.. i became best friends with 1 of them, he offered me extacy a few times and i said no thanks but he kept asking me to try it and i finally said ok, i was drinking every weekend but was taking drugs some weekends for about 2 years but stopped because even tho i didnt end up in hospital i felt that i overdosed a few times and at the end i couldnt eat or sleep for like 2-3 days.
had no problem giving that up thankfully i didnt get addicted to it i actually hated it..
so i havent done any drugs for the past 3 years but i drink and smoke a hole lot more. im kinda the same with alcohol as i was with drugs, i dont (really)crave it but if i drink more than 2 cans of beer than i cant stop and go on drinking for days.. it has really weakend me mentally and i can imagine the damage it done in my body.
yes it defenetley frightend me enough to quit drinking i felt like i was dying i didnt think i would live through it i was sore all over my heart was pounding my vision was really blurry and my head was empty i couldnt think of anything i was fighting to stay awake all day coz i was afraid if i fall asleep i would fall into a coma i kept getting worse so told my grandmother to call an ambulance. dont really feel the same since,
hope its not too late for a change
Sure thing. I hope its nothing serious.
hi, thank you for your advice dr, i just woke up with with a new little lump on my gum under my front thooth so ill defenetly go see a dentist monday morning. thanks again for taking your time to read and answer my question.