What Is Tongue Cancer?
Tongue cancer is a type of head and neck cancer, it usually develops in the squamous cells which is located on the surface of the tongue. This in turn leads to tumors or lesions and later develops into cancer. Tongue cancer begins when there is a growth of abnormal cells that begins to divide and grow in a much-uncontrolled way.
Tongue cancer is a type of head and neck cancer. This cancer begins when there is a growth of abnormal cells that begins to divide and grow in an uncontrolled way. Tongue cancer usually develops in the squamous cells which are located on the surface of the tongue.
What Are The Causes Of Tongue Cancer?
There are several reasons which tongue cancer occurs, the primary reasons for the causes of tongue include:
#1. Poor nutrition: Eating a diet low in fruits and vegetables and sources of vitamin A
#2. Weakened immune system
#3. Some genetic syndromes
#4. Graft-versus-host disease
#5. Lichen planus, an inflammation of mucous membranes
#6. Using Marijuana.
What Are The Symptoms Of Tongue Cancer?
The most common sign of tongue cancer is an ulcer, sore or bump that occurs on the tongue and this bump doesn’t heals or fades away and it might also bleed easily. Tongue cancer might be a painful thing as one might feel that their tongue is burning. Some of the common symptoms of tongue cancer includes:
#1. White or red patch on the tongue
#2. The thickened area on tongue
#3. Persistent discomfort or pain in the tongue and/or jaw
#4. Burning sensation in the tongue
#5. Numbness in tongue
#6. Bleeding from the tongue that’s not from an injury
#7. Lump in your neck
#8. Sore throat or a persistent feeling that something is caught in the throat
#9. Swallowing or chewing problems
#10. Difficulty moving tongue or jaw
#11. Trouble speaking
#12. Bad breath
#13. Weight loss
#15. Mouth numbness
#16. Dark patches on the tongue
#17. Lump on the tongue that doesn’t goes away
#18. Pain while swallowing
#19. Highly sore throat
#20. Lumps on the tongue.
What Is The Diagnosis Of Tongue Cancer?
While diagnosing tongue cancer the doctor is first going to perform a visual and physical examination of your tongue, throat, and neck. A biopsy of the suspect ulcer or tumor would be done to gain a small tissue sample for laboratory analysis of its cells.
Biopsies of oral tongue tumors can be done under local anesthesia, while growths in the base of the tongue may require the use of a laryngoscope or a fine-needle aspiration in some cases and may require general anesthesia.
In addition, a computed tomography (CT) scan of the neck may provide more information about the location of the tumor and its size, as well as the condition of lymph nodes that drain the area. A contrast medium may be injected into a vein in order to improve visualization during the scan.
Even special X-rays, such as CT scans, MRIs, or Panorex, might also take place. (A Panorex is an x-ray that shows the full upper and lower jaw, plus the sinuses.) These imaging tests provide more details about cancer. If cancer is found in your tongue, these images can show how deep the cancer is and if it has spread.
Other than that there are two types of tests too that are conducted one is a toluidine blue dye test and the other one is a fluorescent light test.
In the toluidine blue dye test the doctor or dentist coats the inside of the mouth in dye. The dye turns a darker blue if it spreads over an abnormal area then it indicates a problematic situation. Whereas in fluorescent light test the dentist or doctor shines a special light into the mouth. The light will reflect differently off any abnormal areas as the test is conducted.
What Are The Risk Factors That Leads To Tongue Cancer?
Tongue cancers occurs due to various reasons, but the major reasons are heavy smoking and high consumption of alcohol and these are the two most significant reasons due to which one can develop tongue cancer. Studies have also suggested that people who smoke and drink heavily are 15 times more likely to develop oral cancers than other people.
However, in recent years, it is also seen that a higher number of younger people and females have started developing tongue cancer. Experts believe that this may, at least in part, correspond to a rise in HPV-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma cases. They continue to look at other potential risk factors that may explain the shifting demographic. While the other known risk factors include.
#1. Chewing tobacco and smoking
#2. Eating a diet low in fruit and vegetables and high in red meat or processed foods
#3. Having human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
#4. Having a family history of tongue or mouth cancers
#5. Having had previous cancers, particularly other squamous cell cancers
#6. Being male, as oral cancer is twice as common in males as females.
How Is The Treatment Of Tongue Cancer Done?
The treatment of tongue is done depending on:
#1. The stage of your cancer
#2. The part of the tongue where cancer took place.
#3. The general health of the patient.
What Are The Stages Of Tongue Cancer?
The stage of tongue cancer tells it clearly how big the problem is, and whether the cancer has spread or not. The stage of cancer helps your doctor to identify which treatment you need.
The stage of your cancer tells you how big it is and whether it has spread. It helps your doctor decide what treatment you need. Well, the stage of cancer depends upon:
#1. How far your cancer has grown into local tissues
#2. Whether it has spread to nearby lymph glands
#3. Whether it has spread to any other part of the body
Doctors use different types of staging systems in order to detect cancer. The staging system they use for you depends on where your cancer has started. Tongue cancer that starts in the front two-thirds of your tongue (oral tongue) is staged as a mouth cancer.
How Do Doctors Treat Tongue Cancer?
People with tongue cancer will usually require surgery to remove the cancerous tissue. Surgeons can generally remove smaller tumors in a single operation.
Multiple and more complicated operations may be necessary if larger tumors are present or cancer has spread. The surgeon may also need to remove part of the tongue. If this is the case, they will attempt to rebuild the tongue using skin or tissue from other parts of the body.
Surgery that involves the removal of part or all of the tongue is called a glossectomy. Although doctors will attempt to minimize the damage to the mouth during the procedure, some side effects are inevitable.
Glossectomy can have an effect on speaking, eating, breathing and swallowing.
In addition to that, some people may have radiation therapy or chemotherapy treatment in order to kill any cancerous cells that remain and doing this it can prevent further spreading of the cancer.