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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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Why do I have a white raised patch on the back of my tongue ?

I dipped tobacco for just under 4 months, maybe right at 4 months, and I ve quit cold turkey, and feel good about it. I smoked inconstinately(spelling) for over 2 years, but could hardly ever finish a pack. But I noticed this bump towards the distal part of my tongue from the tip, just in front of my taste buds. I m able to scrape it, it doesn t bleed. My tongue had this white coating which has almost been resolved by drinking water. I m also 21 years old, and am going to go to the doctors to have it looked at, for the piece of mind. The bump and the patch looks sort of tannish. Any idea what this could be, and the odds associated with it?
Wed, 18 Jan 2012
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi,
The patch you narrated may be hypertrophied taste buds and nothing else.
But as you have history of tobacco and other things malignancy should be ruled out.
Consult oral surgeon and take his opinion.
Ok and bye.
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ENT Specialist Dr. Sumit Bhatti's  Response
1. There is no substitute for direct examination and biopsy.

2. The raised patch may be a patch of Leukoplakia (white) or Erythroplakia (red / tan) which are most probably related to tobacco use.

3. Leukoplakia or Erythroplakia is considered benign but a potential precancerous lesion with a risk of turning cancerous in 5 to 15% persons.

4. Stopping the irritative factor, such as tobacco in your case, lowers the risk. It is good to hear that you have quit. Usually, the Leukoplakia / Eruthroplakia stabilizes or reduces after the original irritation that caused it has been stopped.There are some other causes besides tobacco which can lead to other types of Leukoplakia / Erythroplakia.

5. One option for you is a brush biopsy with Oral CDX which you can easily arrange for.The other is a full biopsy followed by histopathological examination. Long term follow up is needed.
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  User's Response
I also want to specify that the bump is towards the back of my tongue. From noticing it a few days ago, it has seemed to decrease in size. But I'm going to schedule an appointment with a doctor to male sure.
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