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Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Is a Swelling at my Sublingual Salivary Gland a Symptom of Cancer?
I noticed a pea sized swelling on my sublingual salivary gland. I was worried so went to have it checked, even though I thought it was related to eating sunflower seeds.
I went to a maxillofacial doctor and he could not find anything unusual and then to an ENT twice. They did few exams as well. The maxillofacial doctor took a few X-rays and did some kind of test to make sure I did not have a salivary stone.
HISTORY: The swelling occurred after habitually eating sunflower seeds for several months as my job required a lot of drive time. The area affected was immediately below where I would "crunch" the shell of the seed to eat it.
I am wondering with the seed usage, shell puncture, and then my probing, along with the doctor’s tests, if what I feel now is normal. The swelling went down from original pea size to a small B.B. size. It is near the front of my mouth on the bottom. There is no pain or other symptoms.
I am wondering if this is scar tissue that was built up for the "incident". There has been no change for 8 years but after reading about an article about a person with salivary cancer, I began to worry again. I don’t smoke. I chewed tobacco off and on when I was younger but have not touched tobacco for over 10 years.
It sounds like you have undergone multiple evaluations by multiple qualified specialists. I do not know if I can add anything further about the cause of this, but in general, since this occurred 8 years ago and has improved and is stable, this would typically suggest a benign process.
If you are concerned, periodic evaluations by the specialists you mentioned is reasonable to monitor for change over time and any further recommendations.
Amit Agrawal, MD
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University