Tongue is the site of cancer cells in the region of the tongue. This cancer is considered an oral cavity cancer. Cancer occurs when the normal process of cell division and new growth goes astray. The old cells fail to die off to make way for new cells thereby forming a mass.
This mass can be either malignant or benign with every hope of it being the latter of the two. A benign tumor poses no risk and only removal of the tumor is necessary. However, a malignant tumor is cancerous involving more serious consequences. Tongue cancer is common in the oral cavity and as well more serious than other forms of oral cancer.
Tongue cancer is usually malignant and first noted when an appearance of a white colored patch, ulcerated area, or bump is seen. Other symptoms of tongue cancer include halitosis (bad breath), pain, salivary abnormalities, problems with speech, swallowing, eating, and eventually stiff muscles of the tongue with increased blockage of the throat.
This will affect your breathing if this does occur. If this is left without treatment it is likely, as is with all cancers, to spread throughout the mouth and other bodily systems. Tongue cancer is most typically seen in tobacco product users. Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and people who wear dentures are also at risk for developing tongue cancer. This type of cancer generally affects the male, over 60, population. Tongue cancer is least likely to afflict women or those under the age of 40.
Diagnosis of tongue cancer is done by examination and possibly biopsy of the growth. This will determine malignancy and further treatment of the cancer. Treatment for tongue cancer would require the help of a specialist, known as on oncologist. Depending on the severity it will be recommended that treatment will be in the form of medication, such as chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation therapy.
If detected early tongue cancer has an approximate 80% cure rate. If tongue cancer is left untreated, spreading of the cancer is inevitable. The best form of prevention for tongue cancer is in its preventative measures such as routine dental exams twice a year as recommended, abstinence from smoking, limited alcohol intake, and properly fitting dentures. If one or more of the above symptoms is noted in your mouth you should see your dentist as soon as possible to rule out any possibilities of tongue cancer or any other type of oral cancer.
These simple steps can make a difference in your overall health and wellness. Semi-annual visits to your dentist can catch oral cancer or tongue cancer early and make treatment protocols easy to manage.