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I think I have leukoplakia because I smoke a pipe

(51 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by jazzlover
  • Latest reply from sablebrush52
  1. jazzlover

    jazzlover

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    A few days ago I started a thread titled "Oral Cancer Scare". After looking at many sites and pics on the internet I'm pretty sure what I have instead is leukoplakia. Here's how the world-famous Mayo Clinic describes it:

    "This condition causes cells in the mouth to grow excessively. That, in turn, leads to the formation of white patches inside the mouth, including on the tongue. Although not dangerous on its own, leukoplakia can be a precursor to cancer. So it is important for your dentist to determine the cause of white patches on your tongue. Leukoplakia can develop when the tongue has been irritated, and it is often found in people who use tobacco products."

    What's scary is that this condition can be a precursor to cancer. I'm going to see a dentist to be sure, but I think this serves as a huge red flag in my life indicating that I should stop smoking altogether. You'll probably see additional posts on this site from me selling my pipes and my prodigious collection of bulk tobaccos.

    By the way, have any of you ever had this condition? If so, what did you do about it?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. rockymtnsmoker

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    So, how long have you been smoking and how many bowls a day? Regardless, I'd wait til you get a diagnosis from your doc/ dentist before I started selling briar. Dr Google is notoriously unreliable.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. mso489

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    Get a medical opinion and then get a second opinion. Google can be helpful but can certainly lead you wrong.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. phred

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    Definitely get it checked by a professional - and if it is leukoplakia, then make your decision.

    I don't know anyone who's had leukoplakia, so I can't speak to it directly - but my father had a similar precancerous skin condition (keratosis) due to growing up on a farm in the days before sunscreen (also, working as a lifeguard for several years). A lot of the precancerous conditions are easily treated and completely manageable, so at least there's that.

    Good luck!



    "De gustibus non est disputandum."
    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. jazzlover

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    Rockymtnsmoker: My smoking has been very intermittent but that doesn't matter. My dentist will tell me for sure whether I have leukoplakia. The problem is I've been terrified for the past week that I may have tongue cancer. Knowing that my condition looks very much like leukoplakia and that leukoplakia is NOT a form of cancer puts my mind at considerable ease until I see my dentist. Whether I sell my pipes is the least of my concerns right now. However, given the circumstances, it's probably the smartest thing for me to do.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. woodsroad

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    Jazzlover, I hope this all turns out well for you. Either way, I think that pipe smoking is not for you. It is an avocation intended to be relaxing and enjoyable. If it is not pleasure-inducing for you, then a change of hobbies would not be an unreasonable move for you.

    Best wishes.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  7. jazzlover

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    Woodsroad: I think you make a good point.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. peckinpahhombre

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    Could this be a condition that is confined to canines? I know our dog puts his tongue in some very unhygienic places, and I wonder if this might be the root cause.

    In any event, once you have seen a vet and have a confirmed diagnosis we would be grateful if you could let us know so we could watch our family pets for similar symptoms.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    I think that it is important to stress that you do not have a proper diagnosis for your condition. It may, in fact, not be leukoplakia at all. It is just as likely to be candida or syphilis. So don't get all worried until you know for certain.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. crazypipe

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    I wish you well and good health.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. jazzlover

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    Syphilis? I can say with absolute certainty it's NOT syphilis. For the past year I've been as sexually active as the Pope, which isn't much to brag about but it obviously rules out STDs.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. peckinpahhombre

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    Have you humped any legs or licked your own scrotal area?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. murf

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    Like others have said: don't trust the internet to diagnose your condition.

    I had a sore back near my tonsil. Was a PAIN. Couldn't eat. I looked it up on the internet, and it told me that it was most likely cancer. I went and got it checked. It was just an ulcer, caused by herpes simplex 1 virus. Scientific talk for cold sore or canker sore. I got some "magic mouthwash" with lidocaine in it, and it treated the symptoms until the ulcer went away on its own.

    As far as leukoplakia goes, I was under the impression that it was mostly chewing tobacco users who got that.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  14. bluesmk

    bluesmk

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    [quote]Have you humped any legs or licked your own scrotal area? piece of work Peck!
    I have a sweet tooth that flairs up now and again, I have a thing for Wonkas Bottle Caps and Gobstoppers. When I eat too much of those....nearly every time I eat them, I get sore white patches in my mouth that take over a week to abate. Ascorbic acid is the culpret.
    Seek a Doctors advice.
    Dan
    Gabrieli Pipes
    PS: Syphilis take years to show it's ugly head. Could of ate a bad one a long time ago ya know.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. latbomber

    latbomber

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    I wish you well and agree with the others, seeing a professional will answer a lot more questions than google can. I've freaked myself out many a time that way haha.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. peckinpahhombre

    peckinpahhombre

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    Wait - are you guys saying that the OP is really not a dog?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  17. numbersix

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    Jazzlover - I think you're smart to get it looked at by your dentist.

    It sucks if so, but it does sound like a red flag and better to know early on than later. I'd hate to give up my pipe smoking, but things change and sometimes we have to adjust.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Have you humped any legs or licked your own scrotal area?

    p.s.
    Peck's responses were cracking me up but I want to make clear that we're not laughing at your situation.

    "Be seeing you"


    Posted 5 years ago #
  18. cortezattic

    Cortez

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    @peck,

    Looks like a dog to me.

    I find myself sitting idly on the line dividing past and future,
    as if I could kill time without injuring eternity. -- Thoreau
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    plateauguy

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    Most of the scare is not knowing and imagining. The internet is fine for somethings, but go to your dentist and ease your mind. Best wishes.

    Peck, I bet your mom developed a nervous twitch when you were a kid!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. jazzlover

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    Peck: I hope you're simply trying to be funny rather than callous. However, given the circumstances, I find your humor to be in poor taste. Please try to be more considerate in the future.

    To all others: Thanks for your kind words. I just switched dental insurance companies so I have to deal with some red tape before I can set up an appointment but I'm not going to allow the end of the month to go by before I see a dentist.

    Frankly, I'm convinced it's leukoplakia. The cause and the symptoms fit like a glove. Until my examination, I'm going to console myself with the fact that leukoplakia is non-cancerous in 99 percent of the cases.

    This is my last post on this subject. There's obviously no point in obsessing over this.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  21. piperl12

    piperl12

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    Peck has a waynof making me laugh at anything. I echo the others google is not medical advice. If it were I would be here, i would have passed away a few monyhs away from a rare tropical beatle bite. Thank goodness it turned out to be an infected tooth!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  22. dervis

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    "There's obviously no point in obsessing over this"

    Best quote out of the entire thing.

    That and I actually find Robert Downey jr arguing with a canine quite disturbing.

    "You have to be a man first before you're a gentleman. "

    John Wayne
    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. mrenglish

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    I bet if you looked hard enough, you would find multiple bad things that fit with what you are experiencing. No use in worrying about it until it is confirmed. There are usually a whole list of things that have to be happening before it turns out to be anything. Ever look at a DSM used by mental health care professionals? It is every easy to meet a lot of the symptoms for various mental health issues by reading, but comparing it to the actual person usually takes a lot more to be accurately diagnosed with something.

    My wife smokes cigars and has gotten white spots before (and no Peck, I am clean down there) and regularly gets her teeth cleaned and checked. The dentist has never been concerned about her smoking cigars.

    If pipe smoking is causing you angst though, I would heed the advice above and find another hobby.

    Michael
    Posted 5 years ago #
  24. numbersix

    numbersix

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    This is my last post on this subject. There's obviously no point in obsessing over this.

    I can understand it occupying your mind quite a bit. I can recall years ago being concerned about a condition that turned out to be nothing - I hope it will be the same in your case.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  25. peckinpahhombre

    peckinpahhombre

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    To be clear, I wasn't trying to poke fun at your grievous situation and I also never intended to suggest that there is anything wrong with one licking their own genitalia. In many ways, I am envious of the ability of those who are far more dexterous than I am to engage in this useful, and possibly pleasurable, activity.

    Now, please carry on with this discussion as I am sure that we are all learning something here.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  26. aquilas

    aquilas

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    Good luck to you, OP, and hopefully you hear some good news!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  27. warren

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    If I were in this situation I would already have seen a doctor and would most likely have any test results. My fate would be known and I could either be preparing to attack the problem or, having escaped the bullet, be enjoying a celebratory pipe. What's it been? Four or five days since this odyssey began?

    I would not be airing my concerns with a bunch of people I really do not know on a public forum. Particularly when the vast majority of the membership have made a conscious decision to risk cancer in order to enjoy smoking.

    Edit: There is one more thing, while you certainly have my sympathy if this turns out to be a worst case scenario, actions do have consequences. Suffer the consequences with a certain amount of dignity, fight it as best you can while getting on with life.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  28. woodsroad

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    Frankly, I'm convinced it's leukoplakia....There's obviously no point in obsessing over this

    I, for one, am impressed with the confidence that you have in your self-diagnosis.
    Next step: Self-treatment.
    leukoplakia is non-cancerous in 99 percent of the cases

    All the more reason to wait a month or so to seek treatment. I mean if it IS cancer, well, that's going to be expensive, right? Better wait for insurance to cover it.

    Honestly, the way you've gone about all this baffles me to no end. First, you seek the advice of total strangers, then you diagnose yourself via the interweb, then announce that it's most certainly precancerous, but that you are going to wait to see a doctor dentist until someone else pays for the visit.

    Maybe it's because cancer runs in my family. Maybe it's because it killed my only sibling and almost killed my mother and father. Read this: Potentially serious health issues don't get treated by debating them on the interweb. You get your posterior to a qualified doctor posthaste, and if you still have any doubts, you seek a second, third or fourth opinion in quick succession.

    Barring you doing this, I'm calling either BS or sheer stupidity on your part.

    (Peck, you da' man.)

    Posted 5 years ago #
  29. cosmicfolklore

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    +1 Warren, and I don't immediately think of a dentist if I had concerns of cancer in my mouth. Sure, they're trained to look for stuff, but I would start with my regular doctor first for a diagnosis or to recommend someone who could do better.

    Michael
    Posted 5 years ago #
  30. numbersix

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    I think some of you guys are being particularly harsh with Jazzlover. He saw something was wrong, looked it up and discovered what it might be. He admits he doesn't know and he says he's going to get professional advice.

    And he comes here to discuss what is a reasonable concern with fellow pipe smokers (it may have to do with pipe smoking after all). So what's the problem?

    I don't immediately think of a dentist if I had concerns of cancer in my mouth.

    While it does seem strange, it actually is the first place to go.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  31. woodsroad

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    The man needs to seek treatment, not the advice of clueless strangers. Cancer, or the possibility of cancer, no matter how remote, is not a matter for public debate. Days count, and he's already used up a bunch of them.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  32. ravkesef

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    Number Six wrote:

    While it does seem strange, it actually is the first place to go.

    Number Six is right on target, and it isn't the least bit strange. Your dentist is the professional best qualified to recognize, and in many instances, treat oral lesions. If need be s/he will refer you to an oral surgeon, also usually a dentist.

    Eric
    Posted 5 years ago #
  33. yaddy306

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    This thread has left a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended) since it started.
    I have no problem with the OP expressing concern over a potential health threat. But he

      directly
    attributes the cause of his (suspected) health issue to smoking a pipe and nothing else (see thread title).
    Then, in response to rockymtn's question regarding how much he smokes, the OP responds that it is irrelevant.
    Self-diagnosis via the Internet is premature; attributing a cause for that issue is ridiculous.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  34. chops

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    I have had white spots on my lips and inside the cheek area. They lasted for 2 days or so and went away. They felt raw and painful when anything touched them. I assumed they were something like cold sores and a result from irritation of the smoke or heat from the pipe stem. Is this what you are describing?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  35. pipeherman

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    @Jazzlover Don't panic until your doctor tells you that you should be panicking, otherwise its simply frivolous.

    On a more positive note: I think we should look into getting Peck his own television show.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  36. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    yaddy sez:

    attributing a cause for that issue is ridiculous

    You may be on to something there....this is the OP's 5th post about either the harmful physical effects of smoking or healthcare and smoking.

    In only 43 posts.

    Just sayin'.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  37. numbersix

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    The man needs to seek treatment, not the advice of clueless strangers.

    I admit we're not doctors, but we're not exactly clueless either. And he's never given any indication that he's accepting any single opinion or even his own research as fact.

    Self-diagnosis via the Internet is premature; attributing a cause for that issue is ridiculous.

    It's not self-diagnosis unless he quits smoking permanently due to his own research - which is not what he said he's doing. He's stated he will get professional advice.

    I will admit that his fears may ultimately prove to be unfounded, but it still seems fair to me to run this by fellow pipe smokers without being ridiculed.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  38. numbersix

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    You may be on to something there....this is the OP's 5th post about either the harmful physical effects of smoking or healthcare and smoking.

    FWIW, while I personally don't worry about the ill effects from pipe smoking, there are many new smokers who - while desiring to smoke a pipe - are still worried about its effects.

    There have been many new pipe smokers on this forum whose very first post is asking about ill health effects. I can't blame them for being worried since they are bombarded by negative media reports about the dangers of smoking on a daily basis.

    Are their concerns unfounded? No. Are the ill effects of pipe smoking blown out of proportion by the media, IMHO> yes.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  39. cosmicfolklore

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    Thanks, I am now schooled on who to contact if I do have a worrisome sore in my mouth. But, if I did have a concern, I might want to inquire amongst fellow pipe smokers if they've had similar issues. It's not too out of the norm that a forum might be the best source for this. ...but, maybe after I've made an appointment with a professional. My dentist will see people right away if it's an emergency. I know, I've been left in the chair while waiting on him finish with emergencies

    Posted 5 years ago #
  40. kashmir

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    While I sympathize with the OP, and disagree with some of the ridicule, I will say its best not to be a pipe smoker if you are a hypochondriac. Youse make your bed and sleep in it. Which is to say that each person is different. We all come to the table with different levels of built in resistances. You've got to listen to the little man in your head and follow his advice. Last thought: Life is a gamble, no doubt about that. In the end all hands fold.

    The pipe eases you into the present moment - savor your pipe & you'll savor this moment.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  41. piperl12

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    Ok so I went back and read some of the OPs earlier posts, curious themes of cancer concerns in the first half dozen posts as well as questions about smoking things like willow bark? I think tobacco use is the least of your worries. My father used to say believe half of what you read. In the day and age of the internet when anyone can be an expert I advocate belive 10% of what you read.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  42. User has not uploaded an avatar

    smokertruck

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    there is also " hairy leukoplakia " with less severe symptoms but other cause than just smoking -
    biopsy is necessary

    also the issue of the internet & all its pundits - here it is the mayo clinic -

    get a biopsy by dentist & doctor! leukoplakia at the outset looks like thrush which a dentist may be too fast at diagnosing.

    my dentist decided my white tongue was thrush - looks worse now so now i wonder thanks to this thread -
    started 6 months ago after i started smoking again - always seems worse after a smoke - thought it was the preservatives but now i wonder -
    off to dentist & doctor for biopsies.

    great !

    Posted 5 years ago #
  43. spartan

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    Woof.

    "I was born to lose. So I'll die to win." -Breaking Benjamin
    Posted 5 years ago #
  44. peckinpahhombre

    peckinpahhombre

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    there is also " hairy leukoplakia "

    Really? Christ, you guys are scaring me. I already have hairy palms, which I was duly warned was a possible manifestation of my extra-curricular activities, but now I am really worried here.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  45. kashmir

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    Picture (please) - or it didn't happen.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  46. peckinpahhombre

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    Posted 5 years ago #
  47. kashmir

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    Posted 5 years ago #
  48. spartan

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    @kashmir,

    Just google hairy leukoplakia...and click on images... if you dare.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  49. User has not uploaded an avatar

    plateauguy

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    Obviously this post has served a purpose, it's helped Jazz vent, Peck be his hairy self, and brought to our attention something that I wasn't even aware of.

    Hopefully Jazz's problem will be taken care of as soon as possible, and that Peck will go buy a bottle of Nair since I don't think he's going to change any time soon.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  50. warren

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    It's simply;y a matter of risk versus reward. We all owe a death upon our birth. Life is a terminal situation and so one can weigh the reward of a satisfying smoke against the possibility of unleashing any number of different cancers and the attendant discomfort of such cancers.

    It's a rather simple equation and upon choosing smoking I think you must forgo the complaining should the worst occur. It's simply not manly to sicken yourself and then bitch about it. Choices gentlemen and gentle ladies. It's all about choices and their consequences. Let's all man (lady?) up and accept the consequences of our, sometimes, bad choices.

    Oh! And before I forget, Happy New Year!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  51. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Woodsroad makes a valid point about not waiting to get a potentially serious condition checked out ASAP by a qualified professional. All the rationalization in the world won't return you from the dead.

    My dentist, who is an oral surgeon, gives me a check up 4 times a year when I go in for cleaning.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 5 years ago #

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