Tongue cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the tongue. Symptoms of tongue cancer may include pain, difficulty swallowing, or red patches in the white part of the mouth. It usually takes years for these symptoms to appear, which is why it’s important to be aware of them and discuss them with your ENT doctor when they do. If you have any of these symptoms, or notice any white or red patches in your mouth, it’s important to go to the doctor right away.
Tongue cancers can be a result of a person’s genetic makeup, infections from HPV or HSV, a tobacco user, a poor immune system, uncontrolled diabetes and even alcohol consumption, etc.
Hence, the ENT doctor will take a medical history and ask specific questions about symptoms to make a diagnosis. A patient’s tongue and neck will be examined and a small, long-handled mirror will be used to look down the throat. There are several tests to be done.
It is generally diagnosed through a biopsy, which usually involves a doctor sticking a thin needle into the tumor. During this process, the doctor will try to remove as much tissue as possible. If the doctor thinks that it’s difficult to remove more tissue, they may have to take more samples from different areas on the tongue. This is called a surgical biopsy. They may also do a biopsy by injecting material into the tumor or cutting out a small piece of it and then looking at it under a microscope.
Another way doctors diagnose tongue cancer is through imaging scans such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These scans can show how deep the tumor goes
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