ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

Tongue Cancers: Diagnosis and Consultation Guide

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.


How do Doctor Diagnose Tongue Cancer?

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


Consultation Tips to help you get the most

  1. Remember the reason for your visit
  2. Write down questions you want answered before your visit
  3. Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your doctor tells you
  4. Write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests, any new instructions from your doctor
  5. Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and its side effects
  6. Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways
  7. Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean
  8. Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or test
  9. Write down the date, time, and purpose for a follow-up appointment if any
  10. Know how to contact your doctor for further questions


Did you find the information useful? If so, continue reading our ENT posts.


For details of our ENT services, diagnosis, and treatment, please consult our ENT specialist.




HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services


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