What is Leukoplakia? Is it dangerous? Is it curable?
After battling Leukoplakia for over two years, I believe I am now more knowledgeable about Leukoplakia than most doctors, dentists, etc. I feel I can say this because of the number of doctors, dentists, etc that I talked to who did not know how to treat me.
The term Leukoplakia is translated from a Greek word, meaning a white sore in the mouth area. Mine was on the underside of my tongue.
Leukoplakia can be very dangerous; depending on what study one is reading, up to 25 percent become cancerous. Oral cancer, or cancer in the mouth area, once it starts to spread, is very difficult to cure, with a five year survival rate of less than 60 percent.
Doctors do not know how to cure and can not agree on how to treat Leukoplakia. They do however; agree that sometimes Leukoplakia is caused by an irritation, such as the use of tobacco. My Leukoplakia was caused by a tooth interfering with my tongue. The interference was so slight that it was very difficult to detect.
The most important bit of information in this article is something that only two of approximately a dozen medical professionals that discussed or examined my Leukoplakia knew; if a tooth is removed, the opposing tooth will move out of it's box, (the term 'box' in this case is a medical term that two of the dentist's apparently did not know). In my case the upper tooth had been dropped approximately 25 years earlier, over the years the lower tooth, without the upper tooth to hold it in its box, moved up and twisted in, interfering with my tongue. But the interference was so subtitled that no one noticed the interference. It was not until after I decided that the issue and had the lower tooth removed, (over the protests of my dentist), that I met a retired oral surgeon / dentist who told me anytime the upper tooth is removed, the lower tooth will move up and twist in, resulting in interference with the tongue!
This, of course would indicate anytime a tooth is removed a bridge must be installed in order to prevent a future Leukoplakia. Apparently the dentist who removed the original upper tooth was not aware of the potential future problems, otherwise he would have installed a bridge.
One of my oncologists told me his theory was the constant irritation causing the tissue to become inflamed, which will eventually become cancerous. He acknowledged it was only a theory, to our knowledge; no studies have been made to confirm his theory. However, that is apparently what happened in my case, for the results of a biopsy indicated precancerous tissue. Surgery, performed one month later, indicated some cancer cells in the tissue. Fortunately, it was done in time, all cancer cells were removed, no further treatment required.
As an indication of how little the medical profession knows about Leukoplakia one on my oncologists said sometimes a high dosage of Beta Carotene would cure Leukoplakia. He prescribed 50,000 iu per day. Almost none of the other doctors knew of this possible treatment.
One oral surgeon said the biopsy was very painful with a long recover time. All the other doctors who had an opinion on the subject of surgery said that area of the tongue had very few nerves, that the surgery would be reliably painless and that the tongue healed rather quickly. When surgery was performed a divot was removed from my tongue about the size of a quarter. The Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor who performed the surgery told me the divot would fill in. I was amazed at how fast it filled in, as within 4 weeks the sentence appeared like nothing had ever happened!
The same oral surgeon said that if the biopsy indicated cancer, I had a 57 percent of a five year survival. That is a true number, if the cancer has spread! Not true in my case as the ENT doctor who removed it told me in advance that it was so small he would give me a 90 percent recovery rate. Please note that there is a difference between a five year survival and a recovery! As the recovery means you get well and continue to live your life.
Since the surgery, the ENT has told me I will have to find something else to die from, because this is not going to kill me. This opinion has been confirmed by two pathologists, a retired oral surgeon / dentist, and a radiologist.
Obviously, I consider myself very fortunate. I hope this will help others be equally fortunate.
Source by James McMorris