Oncology (General Cancer)/Cancer fear...


Hi, before I start I should tell you I suffer with many mental illnesses Anxiety and paranoia being my MAIN ones.

Facts about me-
I eat kind of healthy, full meals, not a lot of crisps and sweets, mainly italian dishes. I drink ALOT of coke. I gave up smoking 2 weeks after smoking for 2 years 5 a day (sometimes less), I have only history of skin cancer in my family, that is from my grandfather who got diagnosed with it at around age 70 and died at 86 (not of the cancer) my other grandfather died of throat cancer from smoking for 40/50 years (nothing to do with genes) I do not drink AT ALL, I'm 20 years of age and around 10/11 stone 5'8

This fear of cancer started at the end of August when I found a yellow spot on my throat wall whilst looking in the mirror and went completely crazy believing I had throat cancer, although I had no other symptoms my anxiety and paranoia made me truly believe it was throat cancer.
After 5 days I went to the Dr and he told me it was NOT cancer and was simply a reaction from an infection, he gave me anti biotics and sent me away.
The spot did not go and so I went back and saw another Dr and he said the same thing "reaction from an infection"

So once it did not go I went back and he looked and again said "it's from an infection"
I went back home.

So that night I'm calm when I suddenly start feeling around my neck (never done it before) and felt a kind of lump (felt like a lump to me) and went CRAZY...GOOGLE GOOGLE GOOGLE
All kinds of cancers were coming up, Lymphoma, throat, mouth, tongue, tonsil, thyroid...

And so again I truly believed I had cancer.

Finally I went to my real Dr back at my home in bath (I'd been staying with my mum)
and he had a look at everything, the spot on my throat was indeed a reaction from an infection, but from a past infection...the dr's thought I kept going there because they thought I thought I had an infection, so all along they were telling me the truth, it's just a cyst that will most likely never go away. He felt the lump thing in my neck and explained to me that we have things called "lymph nodes" in our neck and what I was feeling was just a palpable lymph node and this "lump" that I thought was 4cm long was actually only 8mm lol

So I went home so happy, anxiety gone and relieved.
Then one day I'm sitting on my bed and I'm feeling my neck again and I'm feeling the upper area and I feel another lymph node, well that's it, I've gone crazy again, it's about 5mm length 2mm wide and 1/2mm thick BUT I THINK IT'S CANCER.
It moves around easily, it's small, but my mind tells me cancer.
Along with this I've started fiddling around with my tongue and discovered some lovely things. Thing's that have most likely always been there, although on the left hand side on the actual side of my tongue I have an area inwhich the little bumps or fur on your tongue are bright red, there is like 4 of them (so now I have oral cancer).

So I'm asking
Do you think this lymph node or lump whatever I'm feeling is cancer, again it's 5mm long 2mm width and about 1/2mm thick, it moves around and isn't rock hard.

the little patch on my tongue is a bright red colour, wasn't there yesterday and isn't any kind of growth whatever, just a discolouring of the fur on my tongue or tastebuds...

Thank you

From what you are telling me, I don't think you have cancer.  We get little bumps in our mouths because of trauma (accidentally biting tongue, etc) and these usually go away. Lymph nodes in the neck the size you are describing are almost certainly not cancer, and even if they are (like a lymphoma) they are curable.  But no one would even biopsy something this size, let alone treat it.  The little lumps on the side of your tongue might very well be irritated taste buds; they can get larger than normal, usually temporary.  
When you find something in your body that seems abnormal, the best thing to do is give it time.  Don't play with it, chew on it, irritate it.  Just let a week go by and see what happens.  Serious cancers grow, bleed, cause pain.  Nothing that I know of which is cancer can go from "curable" to "incurable" in a week.  If the thing you are watching is the same after a week, wait another week.  Don't worry about it unless it increase in size by at least 50%.  If you feel better about measuring it, do so, but do it carefully, and write down what you measured.  Again, measuring lesions is not highly accurate without calipers, but don't panic unless the change is greater than 50%.   (Don't panic then, either.)  For small spots and lumps, 50% is a good number because things that aren't cancer aren't going to change by that much ever.  The last thing to remember is that if a lump or a spot is red and tender, it probably isn't cancer, but rather, an infection or an inflammation.  
If you follow these guidelines, you'll get control of your anxieties.  Just remember, cancers change, and change significantly.  Hope this helps.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

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America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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