Papilloma on tongue? always HPV?

Tell the community your story. How has HPV affected your life?

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Papilloma on tongue? always HPV?

Postby morty_warty » Thu Feb 04, 2010 6:29 pm

Hey everyone!

Great board! Glad I found it!

First, the basics: Male. 32. Married / with my wife for almost 9 years. Ex-casual smoker (quit when I met my wife). I rarely drink alcohol.

A few months ago I noticed what could only be described as a skin tag on the front underside of my tongue. I didn't think anything of it and basically ignored it and moved on with my life. Well... apparently I was due for another bout of hypochondria because with absolutely no provocation,  I started freaking out about it. I spent hours and hours scouring the internet looking for information on "skin tags" on the tongue but came up with nothing. What Google did leave me with was two horrifying options: Oral Cancer and Oral Warts. After doing some reading, it almost seemed like they were one and the same.

I spent many additional hours searching for info and carefully inspecting photographs online. Unfortunately, nothing seemed to look like what had grown in my mouth.

I immediately scheduled an appointment with my dentist. Unfortunately, he was booked a week out so I spent the next seven days obsessing over this foreign object in my mouth. My constant fear and worry affected my work, my interactions with my wife and son... the whole nine yards! I literally wanted to do nothing but scour the internet or sleep.

Anyway, my appointment was this afternoon. After my cleaning, I mentioned the "tag" to my dentist. After visually and physically inspecting it for literally 10 seconds, he matter of factly says "it's a papilloma. It was probably caused by friction or injury to the tongue." No mention of HPV. No mention of cancer. Nothing. He said removal was totally optional and could be done at any time. Basically, he didn't seem concerned about it in the slightest. Before he could even finish talking, I enthusiastically informed him I wanted that thing out of my mouth asap! An appointment was scheduled for next Wednesday (2/10). He quickly explained the procedure (a quick snip and MAYBE a stitch) and then said that it was normal procedure to send the hunk of tongue off for biopsy. He said that he was "99.9% sure that it was nothing to be concerned about." I asked him if he's seen these before. I don't remember his exact words, but he basically made it sound like he sees them on a pretty regular basis.

So here I sit. On the internet. Unable to find one single website that mentions papillomas in the mouth WITHOUT mentioning HPV. I was hoping for a sense of relief but instead I'm mortified. I feel as if I was just handed a death sentance via oral cancer if this was indeed caused by the HPV virus. Does anyone have any insight? words of wisdom? anything? I'm really kind of grasping at straws here.

Honestly, if it wasn't for my wife, who's extreeeeeeeemly supportive and has pretty much said she could care less what grows on my body, I'd probably be in the loony bin right now.

Here's a pic of my tongue for anyone that cares. The pic's a little deceiving... I think because of the angle I shot it at. The growth flaps around like a skin tag and isn't nearly as wide as it looks in the photo.

http://i909.photobucket.com/albums/ac29 ... G_6323.jpg
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Re: Papilloma on tongue? always HPV?

Postby diurnal » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:52 am

that does look like hpv, dang.
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Re: Papilloma on tongue? always HPV?

Postby morty_warty » Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:57 am

Hey pal,

Thanks for the helpful, informative, well thought out response.
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Re: Papilloma on tongue? always HPV?

Postby bummed » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:03 pm

I'm sorry. That's a tough break. Do you notice any white dots on your lips? I have these very small white specks that my dentist and a dr both said wasn't hpv, but I only noticed them since I was diagnosed with it elsewhere. Best of luck to you!
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Re: Papilloma on tongue? always HPV?

Postby morty_warty » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:53 pm

To answer your question, no. No white dots to be found.

If it eases your mind at all, oral hpv usually presents as a single growth and while they can show up on the lips, the tongue is pretty much the most common spot for them to show up.

As an update to my post, I had the offending mass removed by my dentist. The procedure was quick and painless. Within two hours of having it removed, you couldn't tell it had ever been there.

The biopsy results concluded it was a squamous papilloma. A quick search on the internet reveals that most squamous papillomas are caused by HPV 6 or 11, though my dentist did say that not all are caused by the virus. No strain testing was done so I will never know for sure unless it grows back and I demand testing (which I should have done the first time around, but I just figured it would be done automatically.)
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