Posted by: | 2018/10/26


Enlarged lymph node in jaw

Hi, so first let me start out saying I'm a 23 year old male, I used chewing tobacco for around 5-6 years, but recently quit as of 1 month ago (hardest month of my life). I didn't notice anything when I used to chew because it was a routine but now I'm starting to worry that I fucked my life up and I'm going to lose my face. I do feel like I have more anxiety than the normal person so that may play in affect. On my right side of my jaw, I noticed I have an enlarged lymph node that doesn't hurt. It is around 3 cm long compared to the exact lymph node of the other side which is one. On the same side of my jaw it feels like I have more tissue along the jawline as the other side has very little/none. At some points on the right side of my jaw I do get pain only when I push down on these tissue spots. I recently was sick and had a canker sore on my upper teeth gum line which recently went away. I've been getting anxiety about having mouth cancer for around 6 months now which led me to quit and now I'm feeling like I'm going to lose my face at a young age for something stupid I got into. I also went to the dentist for x-rays of my jaw and cleaning and they said everything was good back in May. I also had a Ct angiography and a CT from arch to vertex with everything ok. That was for a fall on my neck but im uncertain to that showing any cancers/problems with lymph nodes/mouth cancer. So my questions are this: 1. should I get this lymph node checked out? It doesn't hurt and I have no symptoms other than a cough that I've been getting for a couple months but my doctors lead to believe it is from acid reflux I've been getting since I was 16. 2. I did chew a lot during those 6 years but this is the first time since then I was able to go a month without it. Did I permanently fuck my life / oral health / face by doing something as a kid. It's been causing me so much anxiety/stress that I almost go into panic attacks where I sit down and shake . 3. Should I go back to the dentist to show him the tissue on the right side of my jaw line? I don't know how long its been there but I'm expecting a while since I chewed for a long time. 4. If someone does get oral cancer, what are the chances of losing the jaw because of it? 5. If I go for dentist checkups every 6 months, will that be able to find the cancer early enough or should I change that interval to 3 months?

Expert's Reply


Cancer expert
- 2018/10/29

Dear Anonymous

Thank you so much for your communication. Thank you, also, for sharing so much information with me. Whatever happens in the future, please promise me that you will NEVER again go back and chew tobacco or use tobacco in any form. At the outset, please let me put you mind at ease. Cancer of the mouth does not start with swollen lymph glands. The signs of cancer of the mouth are as follows:

·        Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas INSIDE the mouth

·        The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth

·        Unexplained bleeding in the mouth

·        Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck

·        Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks

·        A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat

·        Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue

·        A change in the way your teeth fit together

·        Pain in the neck or ear that does not go away (more than 10-14 days)

·        Dramatic weight loss

The fact that you have swollen lymph glands, especially on the right side, is most probably a sign that there is some form of infection/inflammation in the part drained by that particular lymph nodes. You must have this seen to. Please make an appointment with your physician or dentist. Share with him/her everything that you have shared in this communication – do not withhold any information and I trust that you will receive effective treatment and that your health problem will be over.

Do not forget that the use of tobacco in any form is bad for one’s health. Ask you physician to assist you to overcome any possible addiction to nicotine so that you will not relapse into using tobacco again. (MCH).

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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