I'm a 40yr od ex smoker with a hard lump (bigger than a pea)in the bottom left of my mouth..it seems to be on my jaw..and is under a black tooth. It's been there over a month and I have no pain. I have been to the dentist who took an xray and has made an urgent referel to the hospital for a second opinion. He told me not to be over worried but it could be a tumour. I phoned the hospital today and there is a 4 week waiting list with no cancellation list! Should I pay to go private and does that speed things up. I cannot afford to go private but if it is cancer is 4 weeks too long to wait! Any advice/guidance would help. Thanks
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i'm sure someone will along shortly to help you , don't think theres anyone on line at mo , just keep checking
Hi Hilly. You would have to check but I believe there is a two week initiative in place for anything suspected to be cancer. Someone on here might be able to confirm this later. Regards, Hagg.
Hi Hilly

Hagg is right: there is a government target that anyone with suspected cancer should be seen within two weeks of referral. Don't know what you can do if the target is not being met, however, except complain.

It is difficult to know what to advise you. After my diagnosis I was told that my operation would take place within the month - in fact it was nearer two months. This was a very stressful time for me as I imagined that the cancer was growing bigger and spreading all round my body while I was waiting - in fact this didn't happen and my cancer was actually smaller than they thought when they came to operate. Dr Rob Buckman in his book "Cancer is a word not a sentence" suggests that cancer does not usually grow as quickly as people imagine. This does not, however, help you with the worry of having to wait. I never really considered going private during my wait; don't know if you can have investigations done privately and than transfer to the NHS for treatment - if so this might be an option. Have you discussed the wait with your dentist to see if they can do anything about it?

Thinking of you
All the best
Hello Hilly

If your dentist thought that it was urgent matter for referral, the referral to the maxillofacial unit should be fast-tracked within the 2 week target set. Ask him if he did so. If so, ask him to call up the department if you have been told it is a 4 week wait; this might be due to the referral being wrongly categorised. However, it is possible that it was not an urgent referral within the fast-track process as your dentist might be suspecting that the hard pea sized lump is a boney reaction to a chronic infection from a dead (black) tooth and only wishing a second opinion. Ask your dentist. If so, stop worrying.

Hope that helps.

Best wishes
Vinod Coffee
Thankyou all for responding to my question. I think I am guilty of blindly panicking without all the facts.

When I phoned the hospital I didn't metion my case..just inquired to the waiting time. They said 6 weeks ..and reduced this to 4 when I said it was urgent. They said the consultant will make the appointments depending on the type of referral.

I phoned the dentist but could only speak to the nurse but did gather that an urgent referral had been made to the oral surgery dept the same day. (is this the same as the maxillio?) This as DR Vinod suspects is just for a second opinion not confirmation. The dentist is mystified why I haven't got any pain whatsoever and on the xray the black tooth is not infected. Just black from a huge filling. It's my last tooth on the bottonm left.

As for going private...I don't think my bank would let me!!

So I shall stop worrying until I get my second opinion.

After posting yesterday I spent hours reading everyones stories and feel that I have no right to worry yet. There's plenty of that to do once you've been diagnosed. So I'm going to spend my time getting fit and eating well and feeling my best.

Thanks again..I will let everyone know my date...and outcome. It might help others with a
boney lump.

I wish you all well...you really are a fantastic group.

Sorry for the hijack but I wonder Dr Vinod if you could advise me about waiting times. I have had CT scan and am having MRI scan this afternoon for tongue cancer but have been informed that the earliest date for my operation will be around 7th April, when I will also have lymph glands removed. Can you tell me whether this wait will affect the cancer? I am wondering whether to consider going private.Many thanks
Hello Nigel

Choose the private route only if covered by insurance, otherwise it will cost you for not much gain. Three weeks is good going.

Best wishes
Vinod Coffee
Hi......Still waiting...just for an appointment date. phoned the hospital who said that my referal was probably one of a huge pile waiting to be seen. I couldn't even get them to confirm if my name was in there. Although I'm only down for an urgent consultation and not in the cancer fast track 2 week program it's still a worry. My dentist did say his concern was that it could be a tumor but he wanted a second opinion. Anyway...today couldn't stand the WAIT any longer so phoned for an appointment privatey and have an appointment for Tuesday next week. Although financially I cannot afford it....healthwise with my worrying I cannot afford not to.
Will let you know what this strange lump in my mouth is very soon.!!
Hilly said:
Good News Just found out that the hard lump in my mouth is a chronic infection. Dr Vinod was right!! An abscess has slowly formed from the root of my tooth and infected my jaw bone and then infected my lymph gland. I first noticed the lump in January and it has always been painless. So now I'm going to go under general anasthetic and have the tooth out and surrounding area scooped out and scraped clean. Thanks to everyone for this site. It has kept me going. I won't forget how I have felt this last few weeks infact I think it has made me a better person. I'll certainly be more understanding of others. Thanyou.xx
Hi Hilly

That's really good news. So pleased you had a good result. The procedure you describe doesn't sound pleasant but it could have been so much worse. Now you can get on with the rest of your life without that awful worry.


Hello All,

How ironic...two hospital letters came today. My NHS operation date for 9th May and my original NHS appointment that I'd been having sleepless nights about finally showed up too for 28th April. I phoned up to cancel it and explained I'd gone private. But wanted to say that although I think the NHS is wonderful once your in the system for anyone out there having sleepless nights waiting for an initial consultation going private was the best £130 I've ever spent and I'm on minimum wage!
I still think about you all and know how lucky I am ..I'll never forget.
Love Hilly x

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