As the name suggests Tongue cancer is a form of cancer that begins in the cells of the tongue. Tongue cancer starts in the squamous cells, which cover the tongue’s surface. If cancer appears in the front two-thirds of the tongue, it is considered a type of oral cancer. If cancer appears on the back third of the tongue, it’s considered a form of oropharyngeal (throat) cancer.
The difference in both cancers is also the reason that the treatment of these two forms of tongue cancer is quite different. Oral cancers are relatively rare, representing only about three percent of all cancers.
Causes of tongue cancer:
Tongue cancer has no particular cause. There are many factors that have been linked to an increase in risk. HPV, or human papillomavirus, is one of the most common causes. The base of the tongue is primarily affected by this type of cancer. Smoking, chewing tobacco, alcohol misuse, chewing betel leaf, a family history of cancer, poor oral hygiene, and an unhealthy diet are all risk factors. Tongue cancers are more likely in men over the age of 50, according to research.
Symptoms of tongue cancer:
Some of the primary symptoms of tongue cancer include:
- Stiffness in the tongue and jaw.
- Difficult in swallowing.
- Unresolved throat pain.
- The appearance of a patch that may be red or white.
- Formation of an ulcer on the tongue that is persistent.
- Bleeding from the throat.
Diagnosis of tongue cancer:
The first doctor will do a physical examination if it indicates abnormalities such as a red or white spot on the tongue or swollen lymph nodes in the neck, then a biopsy would be suggested. An incisional biopsy is the common type of biopsy and this would require incising a piece of tissue and sending it for analysis.
Examination of a sample of tissue from the site of the suspected cancer by a qualified pathologist is the key to diagnosis. MRI & CT scan is used to examine the location and size of the growth. This also examines the stage of cancer (how advanced it may be), which will aid in determining the treatment technique and speed.
Treatment of tongue cancer:
Treatment for tongue cancer mainly depends on the severity. In fact treatment for any type of cancer depends on how early it is diagnosed and how much has it affected other parts of the body.
Chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy is used to treat the condition if it is diagnosed in the early stages. If the patient is not responding to these treatments, surgery may be considered to remove the affected part. Some of the possible surgeries include laryngectomy, neck dissection, and glossectomy.
Dr. Priya Tiwari is a tongue cancer specialist who is rated as the best cancer specialist in Delhi. She has the expertise in diagnosing and treating various cancers, especially head and neck cancer which will include oral cancers too. Dr. Priya Tiwari specializes in the treatment of tongue cancer. The treatment of tongue cancer involves surgery to remove the tumor, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted drug therapy.
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