Head and neck cancer

A place for people affected by head and neck cancers, including oral, throat , larynx (voice box), salivary glands, middle ear, and sinus and nasopharyngeal cancer. Support one another, ask questions, and share experiences.

Very scared

Mrs Wozza
Posted by

Hi all, l am new to this group and as l have stated very scared. The problem with my mouth started 6 months ago but l have only just been referred for diagnosis. My dentist was treating me for gingivitis and never experiencing this before thought l was being silly thinking the growth in my mouth could be cancer. The growth started when l was complaining about a sore on my gum. He first of all told me l was brushing my teeth too hard. After recording pocket depth of my teeth gave me a deep clean. The gum has never recovered since. It developed into a long growth with ulcers. For almost 6 months l have needed pain killers every day.  I then paid for a second opinion at another dentist who advised me to have the tooth where the sore on the gum was, removed because of bone loss. She even brought in another dentist to take a look but he hadn't a clue what it was. I asked her if she thought it could be cancer and she gave me a panoramic scan which she said showed nothing sinister. Anyway after another small swelling appeared and l developed a lump under my jaw my dentist  issued me with amoxicillin 500g for 5 days  me and examinedan emergency yesterdayreferral to the dental hospital where l went yesterday.. The dentist shocked me by saying "it doesn't look very good so l'm doing an emergency referral to a  Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Head and Neck Oncology. I keep hearing her words "it doesn't look very good". I couldn't sleep last night worrying if it is diagnosed as cancer just how far it has spread. I have spent all day bursting into tears worrying. I go next week for the consultation. I don't know what advice l am looking for. Just reaching out for comfort and support x

Ron51
Posted by

The comfort is that most of us survive so the outcome is good mine I was told was pretty bad as I put off going to the doctor (living in denial) and I am still here 4 1/2 years later.

Not for you but for others I think I would go to a GP and not just the dentist.

Mrs Wozza
Posted by

Hi Ron51,  thank you so much for replying. I know you are advising everyone about going to GP and not dentist but l did go to my GP and was told she knew little about it and go to my dentist. I even phoned for some information and the Receptionist told me to contact the Dentist. I feel it's been almost impossible to get help so far.

LouisJi
Posted by

Hello,

i am also new, just now.

i have always had problems with my teeth resulting in partial dentures, I’m 65 and most of the teeth are gone.

The dentist sent me to the hospital within 3 days of my complaint of a sore on my gum. That was 3 weeks ago. I’m October, I had no worries. In November I have cancer.

it is frightening. It’s past midnight and I’m awake coming to terms with this. It seems unreal. I await a CT scan on Saturday and an MRI scan, no date yet. My appointment with the consultant is on 9/12.

so sudden all of this...

Beesuit
Posted by

All I can say to Louis and Wozza is to hang on in there. You are in the system and will be looked after .As Ron says, All of us in this group are still here even though it's been a rocky road. This time last year I was in exactly the same place...waiting for treatment.

To anybody else worried about symptoms, go with your intuition and insist on that referral. It shouldn't be that way but it is.

One thing I'll add is to take somebody else with you on your appointments, to help you ask the right questions and to hear the things that you won't. Once the word cancer is spoken a good few minds go blank.

Oh....and stay off Google unless you have decent medical knowledge. There is a lot of outdated stuff out there

Good luck both of you

Mrs Wozza
Posted by

Hi LouisJI,

I have my first consultation next Wednesday, 4th December.  I was convinced all of this was gum disease.  My dentist convinced me it was.  Although I have not been diagnosed I fear the worst.  I cannot believe I saw 3 dentists and not one of them advised me to go for a biopsy.  I went to my Doctors asking if it was okay to take ibruprofen regularly because of this and she never even looked at my mouth.  Anyway, that's enough from me.  I did sleep last night.  I think I was so tired I had no choice.

Please keep in touch and let me know how you get on with your tests.

Ron51
Posted by

Another thing I would recommend is to keep busy so you have less time to dwell on it and if you are like me ask people to treat you normally and not to keep asking questions but do tell them what happens so they don't have to, do anything to keep it from the front of your mind.

Mrs Wozza
Posted by

Thank you Ron51 any advice would be welcome.  I have a good little family unit who are in shock that all this has happened.  My only issue is I have a daughter who lives 2 hours drive from us.  She has four young children, works and life has been tough just recently.  She knew I was going to the Dental Hospital on Monday and phoned to ask how I had got on but I put on a brave face and told her I have to go for a biopsy at the hospital.  She is the only person I am worrying about telling if it is confirmed because of the distance from each other.  I am so glad I joined MacMillan Cancer Support because I now don't feel totally alone with the worry.

chris2012
Posted by

Hi Mrs Wozza, my cancer started in the same way where i thought i had an ulcer on my lower gum so i kept treating it with mouth ulcer meds from the chemist but it never cleared up so i plucked up the courage to go and see a dentist for an emergency appointment, when i found one who would treat me under the N.H.S . In a case like this, you have to be prepared for either good or bad news, unfortunately it was not good news in my case and i was told on that day that it was 99% cancer which, in a way saved me a lot of worry as i knew where i stood. Im not saying that you will be in the same position with the outcome and truly hope you are not and its something else and not cancer. 

        Head and neck cancers are very treatable with a very good success rate with people making a good recovery as many can vouch for on here as mentioned in previous posts. I know its a worry but you will be seen by a well-qualified consultant who i know will reassure you either way when you see him next week, so try and put those words "it does not look very good " to the back of your mind and fingers crossed it all works out for you. We will be here for you should you need more help or advice. Wishing you all the best for next week, sending hugs (( )) .    

             

                                                                  Chris x

Its sometimes not easy but its worth it !                Click here to find out more

chris2012
Posted by

Hi LouisJi, all i can say is fingers crossed for your scan results and your meeting with the consultant, part of what i have written in my post to Mrs Wozzle might apply to you, best wishes and hope all goes well, take care.

                                                                                           Chris.

Its sometimes not easy but its worth it !                Click here to find out more

Mrs Wozza
Posted by

Hi Chris, Sorry for the delay in answering and so thankful for your advice.  It has helped me enormously joining this group that I don't feel alone.  At the moment I feel in slow motion taking me ages to complete daily chores.   Trying very hard to keep busy and not dwell.  Until next Wednesday I shall worry like stupid!  If it is cancer I shall be so very angry because I have lived at the dentists this year and even paid private so I could get a second opinion.  In all 3 dentists have seen my mouth. I have been in so much pain I panic if I am running out of paracetamol and occasionally spoil myself and have ibruprofen (which my doctor doesn't want me to take but prescribed medication to protect my stomach in case needed).  I'm spending much of my time preparing the family just in case I need hospital admission.  I am one of those people who has to plan.  

Thank you for the hugs, Mr. Wozza x

Hydetribe
Posted by

Good suggestion to take somebody with you to appointments - my husband forgot what was said as soon as he walked out of the room.  Another suggestion we got from this site was to get a notebook - write all of your questions down and write the answers when you are in the room.  It’s a scary time for you but you can get through it.  Keep posting with updates x