Tongue cancer: Causes, symptoms and treatment

Tongue cancer is a type of oral cancer that usually develops from the squamous epithelial cell on the surface of the tongue, which manifests as a tumor or an ulcer. Below are frequently asked questions about the disease, according to Webmd .

Things to know about tongue cancer

Early warning signs of tongue cancer 

One of the first signs of tongue cancer is a lump or pain on the side of the tongue that doesn't go away. Sometimes the pain will bleed if you touch or bite it.

  • Voice changes, like hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing

When to see a doctor for a sore tongue

If the pain is asymptomatic after a few weeks, see your doctor as it could be a sign of tongue cancer.

The cause to the illness

Human papilloma virus (HPV) can cause many cancers on the tongue. The virus can also be transmitted through sexually causing cervical cancer. In addition, the disease also has other causes such as:

  • Alcoholism
  • People with cirrhosis are at a higher risk
  • Inconsistent dentures
  • Do not take care of teeth and gums
  • Smoking
  • Syphilis
  • Genetic gene 

Picture 1 of Tongue cancer: Causes, symptoms and treatment
The appearance of long-lasting sores and tongue pain can be a warning sign of tongue cancer. 

How to diagnose tongue cancer?

The doctor will examine the mouth, ask questions about the symptoms the patient experiences. Specialists may recommend X-rays or CTs (computerized tomography) to show more detailed images.

Your doctor may also take a sample of tissue from your mouth for examination. If the problem is at the bottom of the tongue, the doctor will look for signs of cancer or notice any abnormalities during a routine examination. 


The method of treatment depends on many factors: the stage of the disease, the state of health .

Surgery is often the best way to remove a tumor from the tongue. If cancer is on the back of the tongue, the person may need radiation (X-rays and other radiation). Sometimes the best treatment is a combination of chemotherapy, or anticancer and radiation medicine. You may then need treatment to help chew, move your tongue, swallow and speak better. Patients should have regular checkups. 

How to prevent tongue cancer

Many cases of tongue cancer are caused by viruses. To reduce the incidence of cancer, each person needs: 

  • Get the HPV vaccine
  • Do not use tobacco 
  • Limit alcohol and beer 
  • Take good care of teeth and gums. If you wear dentures, make sure they fit

Don't confuse tongue cancer and mouth heat

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