Tongue Cancer: Introduction
Tongue cancer is a type of malignancy that occurs when there is an uncontrolled growth of cancer cells in the tongue. Tongue cancer is a common form of oral cancer, but a relatively rare form of cancer in general. The majority of cases of tongue cancer are due to squamous cell carcinoma.
Tongue cancer is most treatable and curable if caught in the earliest stage of the disease. Untreated and/or advanced tongue cancer can spread into the deeper tissues of the mouth and neck. In advanced stages, tongue cancer can spread through the lymph nodes and blood to other parts of the body where the cancer cells can form another cancerous tumor. This is called metastasis.
Tongue cancer and other forms of oral cancer have a high risk of recurring after treatment, and the death rate from tongue cancer is higher than that of some other forms of cancer, such as cervical cancer and skin cancer.
Early symptoms of tongue cancer include a sore or lesion on the tongue that does not heal within two weeks. However, there may not be any symptoms or symptoms that are easily noticeable in the early, most curable, stage of tongue cancer. For more details on other key symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of tongue cancer.
People at risk for developing tongue cancer include smokers and people who drink alcohol excessively. Using smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco) also increases the risk of developing tongue cancer. Risks also include being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV). A diet that is low in fruits in vegetables is a risk factor as well.
Men get tongue cancer more often than women, and people over the age of 40 are affected more often than younger people. However, more recently, tongue cancer is occurring in greater numbers in younger people.
Diagnosing tongue cancer begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms and risk factors for tongue cancer. Diagnosis also includes completing a physical examination that concentrates on the tongue and mouth. It is not unusual for early signs of tongue or oral cancer to be found by a dentist during an oral exam. The lymph nodes in the neck are also felt for signs of swelling (lymphedema).
Diagnostic testing includes a biopsy. In a biopsy a sample of cells or tissues are taken from the area of the tongue that may be cancerous. The sample is examined under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells.
Tongue cancer is often not diagnosed until the late stages, when the prognosis is poorest and chances of a cure are lowest. A diagnosis of tongue cancer can be missed or delayed because some symptoms of tongue cancer are similar to symptoms of other conditions. In addition, there may not be any symptoms in early stages of tongue cancer. For more information about other diseases, disorders and conditions that can mimic tongue cancer, refer to misdiagnosis of tongue cancer.
The prognosis for people with tongue cancer varies depending on the stage of advancement of the cancer and other factors. Treatment of tongue cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. For more details about treatment, refer to treatment of tongue cancer. ...more »
Tongue cancer is one type of cancer of the internal oral region;
for more information see oral cancer. ...more »
Tongue Cancer: Symptoms
Symptoms of tongue cancer can vary among individuals and differ depending on the stage of advancement of tongue cancer. There commonly are not any symptoms in early tongue cancer, or symptoms may not be severe enough to be perceptible or cause concern.
Typical symptoms of tongue cancer include a sore or lesion on the tongue, especially if it does ...more symptoms »
Tongue Cancer: Treatments
Treatment of tongue cancer starts with prevention. Preventive measures include not smoking and not using smokeless tobacco products (chewing tobacco). It is also important not to use alcohol in excess. Using safe sex practices is also key. This can help avoid oral infection with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV), which increases the risk of developing tongue cancer.
...more treatments »
Tongue Cancer: Misdiagnosis
Tongue cancer is often not diagnosed until it has developed into an advanced stage when the chances of a cure are least likely. A diagnosis of tongue cancer can be delayed or missed because in early stages there may not be any symptoms. Symptoms commonly are not severe enough to be perceptible or cause concern. In addition, some symptoms of tongue cancer can be similar to ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Tongue Cancer
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symptoms of Tongue Cancer
Treatments for Tongue Cancer
- Treatment of oral cancers depends upon the type and stage of the cancer, as well as the age and other health problems that the patient might have. Treatments include:
- Dental exam - to prevent oral infections or problems; often done before other treatment begins
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Home Diagnostic Testing
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Wrongly Diagnosed with Tongue Cancer?
Tongue Cancer: Related Patient Stories
Tongue Cancer: Deaths
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Alternative Treatments for Tongue Cancer
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Tongue Cancer: Complications
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Causes of Tongue Cancer
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Disease Topics Related To Tongue Cancer
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Tongue Cancer: Undiagnosed Conditions
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Misdiagnosis and Tongue Cancer
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Tongue Cancer: Research Doctors & Specialists
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Hospitals & Clinics: Tongue Cancer
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Tongue Cancer: Rare Types
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Evidence Based Medicine Research for Tongue Cancer
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Prognosis for Tongue Cancer
Prognosis for Tongue Cancer:
For those patients with smaller lesions, which have not spread to the lymph nodes of the neck, the prognosis is excellent. However, as the initial lesion gets bigger or the lymph nodes in the neck become involved, then prognosis deteriorates.
More about prognosis of Tongue Cancer
Research about Tongue Cancer
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Statistics for Tongue Cancer
Tongue Cancer: Broader Related Topics
Types of Tongue Cancer
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Definitions of Tongue Cancer:
A malignant tumor arising from the epithelium that covers the tongue. The vast majority of tongue carcinomas are moderately or poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinomas. -- 2004
- (Source - Diseases Database)
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