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Jaw cancer - irrational or a possibility?

(39 Posts)
Natashahopkins123 Fri 27-Dec-13 12:50:20

I've had a hard lump on my lower gum for a few weeks now which hasnt been helped with antibiotics.
Dentist has done an urgent referral to the hospital and I am seeing them late next week.
Doesn't look like mouth cancer but jaw cancer can show as a lump in the mouth apparently,
Anyone shed any light?

ProfPlumSpeaking Fri 27-Dec-13 12:52:42

Awww, no idea what it might be (am not a doctor) but feel sorry that you are worried and glad that you are dealing with the issue. Most things are false alarms (she says helpfully) but worrying nonetheless. I hope someone more knowledgeable will be along in a moment to allay your fears more comprehensively!

Natashahopkins123 Fri 27-Dec-13 12:55:30

Thankyou for your reply
Can't pretend I'm not going out of my mind with worry especially as the dentist has referred me under the 2 week rule although to me he said its not cancer, most probably a cyst! Little confused I have to admit!

Natashahopkins123 Fri 27-Dec-13 13:34:49

Anyone that can help at all?

Blippybirthday Fri 27-Dec-13 13:49:07

I hesitate to say this but...have you Googled? I don't think jaw cancer is a 'thing'. Actually best not to Google but rest assured I have severe health anxiety and every time a professional has said 'cyst' it's been a cyst despite repeated scans etc on my insistence. So sorry you're worried - it's awful. X

Natashahopkins123 Fri 27-Dec-13 13:55:48

Yeah it was google I found jaw cancer on.
Never thought of it prior as the lump is on the gum.
Just didn't know you could get a cyst on the gum!
I had one removed from my head last year but am shocked that this one literay appeared overnight

Blippybirthday Fri 27-Dec-13 14:02:19

I had one under my arm and honestly I just couldn't cope until the scan came back 'cyst'. It was awful so completely sympathise. I'd just say keep in mind that the professionals have said more than likely 'cyst'. My auntie had breast cancer, had lump felt and the doctor said (straight away) 'more than likely cancer'.

Natashahopkins123 Fri 27-Dec-13 15:13:01

Just so scared.
I have a young toddler, the worst just terrifies me if I'm honest.
The dentist didn't seem terribly concerned but the fact he's used the " 2 week rule " referral makes me wonder

Mrsmorton Fri 27-Dec-13 15:47:44

hmm your first post Natasha? There's another poster on here with precisely the same issue as you.

Stay away from google. No one on here can help you, it's totally impossible to say, if it were easy then your dentist would have diagnosed you, he's seen you and your x rays. He probably knows how worried you are and that's why he's referred you urgently with the unintended consequence of worrying you more.

luckyclucky Fri 27-Dec-13 15:55:54

DM has this at the moment, she was also referred in under 2 weeks, turns out its an extra (3rd) tooth.
She's not looking forward to having it removed under GA but its much better than the scenario she had convinced herself of.
I just wanted to give you another 'it could be this don't worry' story.

LoreleisSecret Fri 27-Dec-13 16:07:22

Jaw cancer is definitely 'a thing' what a strange comment.
Hope everything's ok in the end OP.

Natashahopkins123 Fri 27-Dec-13 16:17:07

Really? I search jaw cancer mumsnet and nothing came up.
This is my first post on here I was a member last year but had forgotten my log in.
Thanks for the quick replies, do you know if yet are likely to tell me at the appointment Thursday what they think or will it be another waiting game?

Mrsmorton Fri 27-Dec-13 16:24:07

Maybe search form emilycreaven999 and have a chat. She's had some good advice on here.

Tanfastic Fri 27-Dec-13 16:27:55

May or may not help as all lumps and bumps are different it I had a hard lump (painless) come up on the roof of my mouth a few years ago. I left it a few weeks and it disappeared.

It's never come back but I did mention it to my dentist who noted it but didn't seem concerned.

UsedToBeNDP Fri 27-Dec-13 16:34:58

Mouth cancer rates are on the up and it's something that GP's and dentists are being encouraged to refer for if they see any 'red flags'. However red flags or things that appear to be red flags do not necessarily mean cancer. A 2ww referral does not mean that you have cancer. The consultant you see for your appointment may be able to tell you immediately that it is not an oral cancer or they may wish to perform investigations if they are unsure.

The likelihood of oral cancers are greatly increased in heavy drinkers, users of chewing tobacco, heavy smokers and older people. It is rare in young, healthy, non smokers and light/moderate drinkers. Even if you fit so e of the criteria for higher risk factors, you are not guaranteed to have it.

See the Dr and try to keep things in perspective until your appointment. No one here can tell you whether or not you have cancer.

Tanfastic Fri 27-Dec-13 16:58:06

I think the two week thing is common for any lump to be honest. My ds was referred urgently within two weeks with a neck lump that hadn't disappeared but the consultant said immediately nothing to worry about.

paddyclampo Fri 27-Dec-13 17:04:31

I had this and the only thing that made it go away was root canal! It was a really hard lump, almost felt bony!

Doesn't oral cancer usually show up as a sore on the tongue / inside of cheek rather than a lump?

paddyclampo Fri 27-Dec-13 17:05:24

Forgot to add, antibiotics had made no difference!

Natashahopkins123 Fri 27-Dec-13 17:06:18

Thanks again.
I don't know how to search for Emily's post, how do I do that?
Glad that come Thursday I might have more of an idea.
I'm 27 and have never smoked, drink only on special occasions and even then only a glass or 2.
The dentist said he didn't think it was cancer of any sort which is why i was quite surprised to be referred under this 2 week rule which is for where malignancy is suspected

Natashahopkins123 Fri 27-Dec-13 17:08:43

Many thanks for your reply.
The bump is rock solid, tender if pushed hard but certainly not causing disruption to my life!
I actually had root canal on my 2 back teeth a few months ago, so am wondering if it's something to do with that not being successful?
I hope the dentist who did all the treatment would have noticed anything then if it was cancer, seems quite co incidental that 5 weeks after my last root canal treatment this has happened

timidviper Fri 27-Dec-13 17:13:36

You mention that this thing came up overnight. I might be wrong but I imagine that a cancer would grow more slowly than that and would keep growing where yours seems to have stopped. Hopefully that means that what you have is likely to be a cyst

Natashahopkins123 Fri 27-Dec-13 17:23:58

Yeah I imagine so too however I've had a few cysts and those too didn't come up overnight, they started small and grew.
Although I guess it could have got infected hence the swelling and slight pain and that's why althought it went down a little with antibiotics it def didn't clear it altogether

Blippybirthday Fri 27-Dec-13 17:37:17

Excuse me! I was trying to be supportive. I've never actually heard of jaw cancer. What a strange response to someone trying to reassure.

Natashahopkins123 Fri 27-Dec-13 17:40:04

To be fair I had never heard of jaw cancer either!
Until I googled it an bham, refereed that's wheat u have after all

Mrsmorton Fri 27-Dec-13 17:44:34

Blippy you probably wouldn't have heard of it referred to as that! it would be an osteosarcoma or some such but still, very rare. It's like calling it your back bone I guess. No one would say backbone cancer? Don't take offence to whoever said that ope get dead rep us on these "have I got cancer, my Dr couldn't say but I think MN might diagnose me" threads.


RunRunRuby Fri 27-Dec-13 17:51:10

The two week rule is there because some lumps are cancerous. Some lumps are obviously something else and can be easily diagnosed. If there is no definite diagnosis and no tests have been done, then no one can say it's definitely not cancer, so it is referred under the two week rule. Doctors tend to err on the side of caution. They can't tell for certain by looking who has cancer and who doesn't, and therefore who to refer under the two week rule, so they'd rather refer everyone quickly than miss the one rare case where a lump looks benign but isn't smile

He wouldn't have told you it's unlikely to be cancer unless he was fairly sure, they're always careful not to offer false hope/reassurance.

Blippybirthday Fri 27-Dec-13 17:52:25

I agree with runrun. It won't stop you worrying though. X

paddyclampo Fri 27-Dec-13 18:02:39

I would say it is almost certainly something to do with the root canal work you've had done!

Natashahopkins123 Fri 27-Dec-13 19:01:11

I think so deep down too although not sure why this would happen AFTER the root canal.
Although maybe there's still infection and it needs re doing.
Can a cyst be caused by failed root canal?
Did the antibiotics not help you at all?
They reduced my lump slightly ( which helps my anxiety as an pretty sure a few amoxicillin wouldn't help reduce a cancer lump ) but it's now rock hard and still very much there

Sorry you are so stressed, no more usefull advice to add, but I had a really big cyst after a root canal, right at the en of the root, dentist picked it up ages after rc was done, tooth was sensitive to bite down on but I thought it was due to the rc canal anyway, so never had it investigated further. Was all contained within the bony bit, so no limps or bumps. Was only diagnosed on xray. I would look to most recent work done as the most likely culprit, doesn't help with the worry though! Good luck and do not google! ;-)

Natashahopkins123 Fri 27-Dec-13 19:31:31

Can I ask what they did when they found the cyst?

Mrsmorton Fri 27-Dec-13 19:35:27

They would normally remove it along with part of the root of the tooth, put some very expensive filling in the end of the tooth and stitch your gum down. It's called an apicectomy.

It's very dependent on what sort of cyst it is so it's best you wait for your appointment instead of worrying about things which might not even apply to you.

I had to go to a specialist dentist, he removed the old root canal and replaced it, apparently I have particularly deep roots, prev dentist didn't fill one all the way and a cyst formed in the 'gap'. We're talking about minute spaces here, wasn't like he left half of the root unfilled or anything! I got a huuuuge filling and was advised to wait a few years before having the tooth crowned, in case the cyst returned. Follow-up x rays every year to check. So far so good. This was all done in cape town though, things might be done differently here. Hope this helps! Now go do something fun! flowers

Natashahopkins123 Fri 27-Dec-13 20:36:46

Thankyou so much for your help.
I have long roots myself, so much so that an extraction under sedation had to be stopped halfway through as I was waking up through the tugging!
Would really not want to lose the tooth but the NHS apparently won't re do the root canal if it fails

paddyclampo Fri 27-Dec-13 20:49:54

I think they might have reduced it slightly but they certainly didn't get rid of it!

I remember it was a very complicated root canal that needed doing and I think she had to do it over 2 separate sessions - she packed it with an anti bacterial dressing in between!

As I say, mine also was rock hard - I think it was because the tooth had died and something happens which causes this hard lump.

My dentist always checks for oral cancer but she never feels for lumps, just looks for sores

Natashahopkins123 Fri 27-Dec-13 20:57:16

Thankyou so very much for coming back to me.
Oral cancer from what I have researched appear as sores / lesions rather than lumps hence why I was very worried about jaw cancer as this can cause a lump which protrudes into the gum tissue however I know in the great scheme of things it's very unlikely.
As I had the root canal work done on the NHS under sedation ( terrible phobia of the dentist ) I had to wait 4 months inbetween the temporary / permanent part of the root canal.
Guess this probably hasn't helped things sad
Im happy to go private for the root canal to be done again if they allow me to keep the tooth!

Natashahopkins123 Sat 28-Dec-13 10:04:20


Natashahopkins123 Sat 28-Dec-13 17:06:05

Sorry above was a typo!
Thankyou very much for all your replies, am slighty less worried now although made the mistake of googling the procedure and saw sometimes a small amount of the jaw needs to be cut away which made me shudder!

paddyclampo Sun 29-Dec-13 21:46:41

I'm not a big fan of the dentist at all, ex-phobic - don't know what I'd do if my current dentist left as I really trust her! But even though it was a very long and complicated one I survived and can say hand on heart it didn't hurt!

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