Tongue Cancer- Stages, Causes, Symptoms & Preventions

Tongue Cancer is a type of oral cancer on the tongue in which the cells of the tongue are infected. They divide and grow to form tumors and bumps. Older people are generally affected by tongue cancer and it is rare to be found in children. In this article, we will give you every general detail about tongue cancer which includes:

  1. Overview of oral cancer on tongue
  2. Causes of  tongue cancer  
  3. Oral tongue cancer survival rate
  4. Tongue Cancer symptoms
  5. Stages of tongue cancer 
  6. Treatment of Tongue Cancer
  7. How can you prevent tongue cancer?

Tongue Cancer Overview

As mentioned earlier, it is one of other several types of cancers which occurs when cells divide abnormally to form tumors and bumpy materials on the tongue. Tongue cancer is of two types:

  1. Oral tongue cancer which occurs on the front of the tongue.
  2. Oral cancer under the tongue which happens at the base of the tongue where it connects to the throat.

What Are the Causes of Tongue Cancer?

The following things can cause tongue cancer, it completely depends on your immune system too, below given are the major causes of tongue cancer:

  1. Heavy alcoholism
  2. Smoking or chewing tobacco
  3. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection too can cause oral cancer tongue bumps
  4. A Family history of oral cancer
  5. Not taking proper care of oral health

Survival Rate of people suffering from tongue cancer?

The American Cancer Society summarized the rates as per the following division:

  1. Local: The cancer is only in the area where it started and is not spreading.
  2. Regional: Cancer has infected nearby tissues but has not spread rapidly to distant sites.
  3. Distant: Cancer has spread far apart.

According to them, the 5-year relative survival rate for:

  1. Local cancer is 78%.
  2. Regional cancer is 63%.
  3. Distant cancer is 36%

Symptoms of tongue cancer

The symptoms of tongue cancer are as follows:

tongue cancer

  1. A lump or sore on the side of the tongue that has not disappeared even after a month, can be one of the first signs of tongue cancer.
  2. An ulcer on the tongue that persists.
  3. Pain in chewing or swallowing food.
  4. Tongue bleeding.
  5. A red or white patch or patches on the tongue that does not go away.

Stages of Oral Cancer in the Tongue

The stage of cancer describes how the treatment should go on. Oral cancer in the tongue are generally staged in the following ways-

  1.       Stage 1– The size of the tumor is 1 inch and has not yet spread.
  2.       Stage 2– The size of the tumor is greater than 1 inch and is growing.
  3.       Stage 3– The size of the tumor/tumors has crossed the 2-inch mark and is spreading.
  4.       Stage 4– Cancer has started to affect the mouth, lips and is spreading to the rest of the body.

What are the Treatments Available for Tongue Cancer?

  1. Chemotherapy- It Kills cells that are multiplying quickly.
  2. Radiation Therapy– It uses X-Rays and other high-energy rays to kill abnormal cells.
  3. Surgery– Depends on the case. (Tongue Cancer Removal- Part of the affected area can be removed, the surgery is called partial glossectomy)
  4. Immunotherapy – It uses the body’s own immune system to fight the disease and is being considered by many patients. It is also worth mentioning that this therapy is much better than other tongue cancer treatments as it has almost negligible side effects.

What are the Risk Factors for Developing a Tongue Cancer?

causes and symptoms of tongue cancer

  1.       It is a common fact that cigarette and alcohols are prominent risk factors for developing a tongue cancer.
  2.       Smokers have a very high chance of developing a tongue cancer along with a lung cancer.
  3.       UV exposure to lips can trigger the initiation process of developing a tongue cancer.
  4.       Chewing betel nuts regularly.
  5.       Exposure to harmful chemicals like Sulfuric acid, formaldehyde, and asbestos can too lead to the development of tongue cancer. 

How to Prevent Oral Cancer in Tongue?

In order to prevent oral cancer in a tongue, you will have to make some changes in your lifestyle like:

  1.    You will have to stop smoking.
  2.    Avoid chewing tobacco and other related products.
  3.    Avoid drinking alcohol too much.
  4.    Eat fruits and vegetables that are good for your mouth.
  5.    Take good care of your oral health.
  6.    Brush your teeth properly, gargle frequently.
  7.    You should visit a dentist every 6 months for the regular checkup.

Tongue cancer is not like other cancers which are very common these days. The chances of getting a tongue cancer are high only if you do not follow the preventive measures and do things like smoking even after being aware of the consequences. In that case, no one can help you from preventing the disease. If you take proper care of your oral health everything will be normal and you will live a healthy life.

Leave a reply