Re: Metallic taste (cancer symptom?)
Yeah...well, derangements in taste are normally to do with benign brain tumours involving cranial nerve seven....so it can be a symptom it's just a very rare one.
I have to stress that if you took cancer as a whole and listed all the possible symptoms out there, you'd find that there are TONS of symptoms that many of us have every day, but that doesn't mean we have cancer. The thing that is hard to understand about symptoms (which is why a doctor will never be replaced by a robot) is the fact that there are things called "sensitivities and specificities" that go along with symptoms. One symptom of ovarian cancer is abdominal pain, but if one has abdominal pain, that doesn't even come close to meaning she has ovarian cancer....in other words, abdominal pain is not specific to ovarian cancer. However, if someone has a sudden onset seizure with no history of epilepsy, the chances of having a brain tumour are much higher....why? Because seizures are much more specific to brain tumours than abdominal pain is to ovarian cancer.
The problem with the internet is that, sites will give lists of symptoms that are associated with certain conditions (like lung cancer for example), people who are worried about a certain type of sickness will go to the site, realize that s/he has some of these symptoms, and then convince him/herself that s/he is sick with the disease. Then, even when the doctor reassures the patient that s/he is not sick, the patient will think the doctor missed something (I've seen that a LOT on these boards).
The other point I wanted to make is....you are absolutely right, the leukoplakia that is associated with HIV/AIDS is the "hairy type", but that is the classical textbook definition. Someone with HIV/AIDS can have the "smooth" variant of leukoplakia as well, and if someone presents with those symptoms, it's very important to try to rule out BOTH precancerous lesions as well as other conditions that affect the immune system.
Does that all make sense?