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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Taking antibiotic and vitamins for leukoplakia. Is it pre-cancerous symptom of throat?

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Dr. Shailja Puri

Pathologist and Microbiologist

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 7395 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 30 Jan 2013 in Cancer
Question: Sir,
I have leukoplakia and treatment is going on with Antibiotic and Vitamins for last 20 days. On 2nd Jan' 2013 materials from the white patches of my mouth were collected and tested in the lab. But no malignant cell were found. For last 6 days I am feeling as if there is something in my throat and with suffocation and mild couigh. Is it pre-cancerous symptom of throat ? I am quite nervous pl. suggest me...Sir..
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 2 hours later
Hello,

Leucoplakia is clinical term for any white colored patch in oral mucosa. It can be just hyperplasia of the lining epithelium, a pre-invasive or pre-cancerous lesion or an invasive or cancerous lesion. As the biopsy report did not find any malignant cells, it looks less sinister at this point.

However, you are at risk of developing a pre-cancerous or cancerous lesion not only of the oral mucosa but also larynx, pharanyx, lungs, urinary bladder, etc. Though the current symptoms do not suggest of precancerous or cancer growth, it needs to be monitored by regular ENT visits.

Tobacco in any form is known to cause leucoplakia. So, tobacco chewing or tobacco smoking should be stopped.

Hope this answers your query. If you have more queries, I will be glad to answer.

Dr Shailja P Wahal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Shailja Puri 36 hours later
Lumps like feeling in throat -> Yesterday, I had a visit to ENT specialist who simply looked into my throat an reported there is nothing abnormal and prescribed gastric related medicine also suggested to gargle. Doctor also remarked that my leucoplakia has also recovered upto 50%. Than what should be the reason of uneasyness in my throat ?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 1 hour later
Hello and thanks for writing back.

Pleased to know that your doctor's did not find any major problems on examination.

In the absence of significant clinical finding, throat uneasiness can be related to reflux of gastric contents in esophagus and sometimes as high as up till the throat. Are you having the problem of reflux (acidity/ gastritis)? This perhaps may be reason why he prescribed gastritis medications to you.

Warm saline gargles or gargling with antiseptic solutions usually resolve throat irritation and discomfort when no bacterial infections are associated. As your doctor found nothing, yes, bacterial infection seems less likely. Hence gargles will definitely help. You will have to report back to your doctor if you develop fresh symptoms such as nasal congestion, fever or pain while swallowing.

In simple terms, everything seems to be heading in the right direction. Gastritis medication and gargles will provide a soothing effect to the mucosa of the throat.

If you have more concerns, I will be glad to answer.

Take care
Dr Shailja P Wahal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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