What is Tongue Cancer?
Tongue cancer is a type of Oral Cancer that originates in the muscular region of the mouth which is the tongue.
What causes Tongue cancer?
The majority of tongue cancers arise from the flat squamous cells that coat the surface of the tongue. A tumor is formed when they begin to divide into a cluster of abnormal cells. Tongue cancer, like many other mouth and throat cancers, is linked to strong tobacco, cigarette and alcohol use, as well as the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Previously, this disease predominantly afflicted elderly males, but the occurrence among women and younger people has increased in recent decades, and HPV infection is considered to be a contributing factor.
The following factors can cause tongue cancer:
- Tobacco is the most common causative factor.
- Alcohol abuse
- Poor oral hygiene
- Improper dental orientation.
Less common factors:
- Age factor: Age being older than 45.
- Poor nutrition: A diet lacking in fruits and vegetables and vitamin A sources.
- Immune system deficiency
- Certain genetic disorders
- Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)
- Lichen planus: It is a mucous membrane disease.
- Marijuana usage (some research suggests an increased risk)
Tongue Cancer Symptoms:
- White or red spot or lesion on the tongue.
- Thickened tongue area
- Prolonged discomfort or pain in the tongue and/or jaw
- A burning sensation on the tongue
- Tongue numbness
- Bleeding from the tongue (that is not caused by an injury)
- You have a lump in your neck.
- Sore throat or the constant sensation that something is stuck in the throat
- Swallowing or chewing difficulties
- Difficulties moving your mouth or jaw
- Speaking difficulties Bad breath
- Weight loss
How is tongue cancer diagnosed?
Biopsy: A biopsy will be performed on the suspected ulcer or tumor to obtain a tiny tissue sample for laboratory investigation of its cells. Oral tongue tumor biopsies can be performed under local anesthesia, however, growths near the base of the tongue may necessitate the use of a laryngoscope or fine-needle aspiration in some situations and may necessitate total anesthesia.
A computed tomography (CT) scan: A CT Scan of the neck may also offer extra information on the position and size of the tumor, as well as the status of the lymph nodes that drain the region. To increase visualisation during the scan, a contrast liquid may be injected into a vein.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or PET/CT scans can also be requested.
Tongue Cancer Stages:
Stage 0 (in situ carcinoma)
The cancer has not spread beyond the surface layer of the tongue. The tumor and some surrounding tissue are removed during surgery. This might be Mohs surgery, in which small portions of the tumor and its borders are removed and each layer is studied under a microscope to identify whether the tumor and its margins have been completely eliminated. It eliminates less tissue around the tumor than a normal excision. If the cancer returns, radiation treatment may be employed.
Stages 1 & 2
Although the tumor has not progressed very far, it has begun to penetrate beneath the superficial layer of your tongue. Surgery is used to remove the tumor, and lymph nodes in your neck may be removed and tested for the presence of cancer cells. If your oncologist believes your cancer may return or that surgery did not remove all of the malignant cells, radiation treatment or chemotherapy may be employed. If you are not in good enough health to have surgery, radiation may be utilized instead.
Stages 3 & 4A
Your tumor has increased in size and expanded into neighboring tissues, perhaps including nearby lymph nodes. Surgery followed by radiation or chemotherapy and radiation (chemoradiation) may be attempted.
Stages 4B and 4C (Metastatic Cancer)
Your tumor has invaded neighboring tissues and may have migrated to lymph nodes and distant locations in your body. If the tumors are inoperable or you are too sick to undertake surgery, surgery may not be employed. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of these treatments may be employed. If you have metastatic or recurring cancer, usually treatment is given in the form of chemotherapy or immunotherapy.
Tongue Cancer Treatments:
The stage of advancement of your cancer determines how your care team addresses it.
Surgery: A glossectomy is a surgical procedure that removes part or all of the tongue. In more advanced cases, surgery may be followed by radiation treatment and chemotherapy.
Modern treatments focus on not only removing the tongue but also reconstruction with some form of plastic surgery to give better cosmetic and functional outcomes.
Radiation therapy: Tongue cancer can be treated surgically or with radiation treatment in its early stages.
Chemotherapy: If the cancer has gone beyond its original location, doctors may recommend chemotherapy, chemoradiation, or immunotherapy.
Tongue Cancer Clinics:
We provide the best healthcare facilities for Tongue Cancer patients. Our multispeciality clinics are situated in the following locations:
Our Centres for Tongue Cancer Treatment
One can visit any of our branches that are nearby to your location for the best overall healthcare treatment of Oral Cancer. Our experts not only provide superior quality care using the latest technologies but also provide complete treatment along with rehabilitation facilities and post-operative care.