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Tongue Cancer

Tongue Cancer

About Tongue cancer

Tongue cancer is a type of oral cancer that forms depending on the location- anterior 2/3rd i.e. oral tongue or posterior 1/3rd i.e. base of tongue. Approximately 75% of the tongue cancer occurs in oral part of tongue. Squamous cell carcinoma of tongue is the most common type of tongue cancer.

Tongue cancer is more common than all forms of oral cavity cancer.


Risk factors:

The main risk factors of tongue cancer are:

  • Tobacco - People who smoke cigarette, pipe, cigar, Hookah etc. are at higher risk of developing the cancer than non- smokers
  • Alcohol consumption: Long term heavy drinkers are at a high risk of developing the cancer

Smokeless tobacco (Snuff and tobacco chewing) along with alcohol increases the risk by 70%

  • Infection: Infection like HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is linked with high risk of tongue cancer. HPV is present in the lining of oral cavity, cervix and anus .Oral sex is considered to be a contributory factor of transmission of HPV virus
  • Other factors: Poor oral hygiene, improper denture and Sharp teeth promote tongue cancer. Constant irritation due to sharp teeth results in non- healing ulcer that can turn into tumors

Symptoms:

The symptoms of tongue cancer may include:

  • Ulcer , lumps or exophytic growth on the tongue
  • Red or white patches on the tongue
  • Pain which could also spread out to the ears (due to lingual nerve involvement)
  • Difficulty and pain when swallowing
  • Difficulty in chewing
  • Change in speech
  • Restricted movement of tongue due to large size of ulcer and swelling

If any of the above mentioned symptoms occur on a regular basis, a doctor should be contacted for the same.


Diagnosis:

  • Oral examination: This helps to evaluate ulcers or abnormal growth on the tongue along with lymph node enlargement in the neck area
  • CAT (computed tomography) scans: The scan is used to find the tumor location and spread
  • PET scans (positron emission tomography): Radioactive materials are used to identify excessive activity in an organ and also monitor the growth of the tumor
  • Biopsy: A small sample of tumor tissue is removed to diagnose the cancer. It is either done by inserting a thin needle into the tumor mass and a sample is aspirated (drawn out by suction) into a syringe (Fine Need Aspiration biopsy) or by removing a sample by using a scalpel- a surgical knife (Incisional biopsy) or a round area of the tissue is removed by a circular blade (Punch biopsy)

Prevention:

  • Quit tobacco products
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Maintain good oral hygiene
  • Protect yourself from diseases like HPV
  • See your dentist regularly

Treatment:

In cases where doctors are unable to find any abnormalities in the reports and patients continue to suffer from frequent aphthae in mouth or tongue, they are unable to eat salty or spicy foods due to increased sensitivity of the tongue; any pain or difficulty in swallowing can be treated by cancer healer therapy. Cancer healer medicines which are based on Immunotherapy help to give relief in suffering and also prevent the chances of tongue cancer in future. It helps to boost the immune system so that the body itself can fight back the disease and prevents chances of cancer in the future. Even early or advance stage tongue cancer is treated at cancer healer centre with good response and success.

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