Tongue Cancer: Who Is at Greater Risk? Know About Signs, Causes and Treatment Options

Cancer is the most prevalent cause of death globally. Tongue cancer is a form of oral cancer that develops due to the uncontrollable division of squamous cells on the tongue surface. Unlike other cancer forms, this is rare and usually affects older adults. Early signs are similar to disorders such as tongue ulcers and mouth ulcers. 

Certain factors, such as excessive alcohol consumption, increase the risk of tongue tumors. However, early screening at Dallas tongue cancer treatment services can help get the proper treatment on time to cure the problem. 

An Introduction to Tongue Cancer

Health experts say tongue cancer occurs when thin flat calls on the tongue surface rapidly start proliferating. It begins in squamous cell carcinoma. There are two common types of tongue cancer.

  • The first form of cancer occurs in the front two-thirds of the tongue, known as oral tongue cancer. Symptoms are visible right away in the mouth and easily diagnosed for treatment. 
  • The second form of tumor begins in the throat region and is known as oropharyngeal tongue cancer. Physicians can quickly examine tumor symptoms and provide the right treatment. 

However, cancer beneath the tongue or at the back surface is difficult to examine. Due to this, the tumor remains undiagnosed and may spread into the neck lymph nodes.

Common Symptoms of Tongue Cancer

Some of the noticeable symptoms include;

  • Throat pain
  • Jaw pain
  • White and red patches on the surface of the tongue
  • Uneasiness when swallowing
  • Stiff jaw and tongue
  • Ulcers that are not healing
  • Difficulty in chewing food
  • Numbness in the mouth and tongue
  • Lumps on the tongue that are not healing 
  • Bleeding without any reason from the tongue

Causes of Tongue Cancer

You might be at greater risk of tongue cancer if you have the following addictions:

  • Tobacco consumption
  • Too much alcohol use
  • Smoking cigarettes, pipes, and cigars 

Besides this, you are at greater risk of tongue cancer if you have jagged teeth and suffer from an infection with Human Papillomavirus.

Diagnosis 

Physicians will ask you some questions about symptoms and do a physical examination. Doctors may recommend CT scans (computerized tomography) and X-rays for diagnosing cancer based on symptoms. They may also ask for a biopsy test for a better diagnosis.

Tongue Cancer Treatment

Treatment of cancer depends on the severity of the tumor and where it is located. Some common treatment options include:

  • Surgical Treatment: This is an excellent way to remove tumors from the tongue. 
  • Radiation Therapy: The therapy works best when cancer occurs at the back of the tongue. 
  • Chemotherapy: This therapy often combines radiation therapy and cancer-fighting drugs.

You may need therapy after the treatment to improve the function of the tongue.

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