Tongue Cancer

Several types of cancer can affect the tongue, but tongue cancer most often begins in the thin, flat squamous cells that line the surface of the tongue. The type of cells involved in your tongue cancer helps determine your prognosis and treatment.

Where your tongue cancer occurs also affects your treatment. Tongue cancer can occur:

Increasingly, cancers at the base of the tongue are associated with human papillomavirus (HPV), which has a profound effect on the prognosis and treatment of the cancer.


Symtoms of tongue cancer can include:


Cancer occurs when some of your cells begin to grow abnormally and much too quickly. Many factors can cause or increase your risk of developing cancer. Factors known to increase your risk of tongue cancer include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol use
  • Chewing betel quid and gutka
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  • Male gender
  • Age
  • Certain genetic forms of anemia
  • A condition called graft versus host disease, which occurs in some patients who undergo stem cell transplants

Treatment for tongue cancer typically involves surgery to remove the cancer. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted drug therapy also may be recommended.

Treatment for advanced tongue cancers can impact your ability to speak and eat. Working with a skilled rehabilitation team can help you cope with changes that result from tongue cancer treatment.

Make sure you visit your dentist in Evansville, IN- Dr Jenkins, every six months as your dentist may be the most likely person to notice any subtle abnormalities in your mouth and on your tongue.

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