Tongue cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that affects the tongue. This type of cancer occurs when there is an abnormal growth of cells on the surface or inside the tissue that lines part of the mouth, which includes the skin inside the mouth, gums, and lining of the mouth.
The five-year relative survival rate for tongue cancer depends on its stage. If the cancer has not spread beyond the tongue, the five-year relative survival rate is 78%. If the cancer has only spread locally to lymph nodes in the neck, the relative survival rate is about 63%. If it has spread far, the five-year relative survival rate is about 36%. It is clear that the tongue cancer can be treated with early diagnosis.
Be sure to watch out for symptoms such as the following:
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.
Prevention is better than cure. Hence, it’s important to know what your risk factors are in order to prevent it or detect it early on if you do develop symptoms.
The following behaviors and conditions can increase your risk of the tongue cancer:
Tongue cancers are most common in people over 55 years old.
You can reduce your risk of tongue cancer by avoiding activities leading to tongue cancer, and by taking care of your mouth. They include:
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