When cells multiply to a great extent, a growth or tumor is formed; the tumor, when suspected, is then tested, and if it is found to be malignant, it is said to be affected by cancer. Oral cancer is one of the common types of cancer that has affected many citizens across the country. There are different types and stages of tongue cancer. A dentist or doctor can find tongue and oral cavity cancers during physical check-ups. To confirm the findings, tests such as MRI, PET, CT, and other such scans may be prescribed.
If any of the symptoms of tongue cancer are experienced, one should get it checked without any further delays. Early diagnosis is important as the doctor or specialist will be able to prescribe the right treatment as per the severity of cancer.
Some of the initial symptoms of tongue cancer are as follows:
- A persistent sore throat
- The appearance of red, white, or pinkish patches on the surface of the tongue
- Difficulty and or pain while chewing or swallowing
- Pain in the tongue and jaw in older patients with dentures
- Numbness in the tongue
- Unable to move the tongue and freely causing speech difficulties
- Loosening of the teeth or a toothache
- Chronic bad breath
- Pain in the ear or jaw
If one has any one or a combination of the above symptoms of tongue cancer, they should first meet their dentist for a thorough examination of the mouth and neck as they will be able to spot any cancer-related defects. If a growth or tumor is spotted, it will be removed and sent for a biopsy. If found malignant, the patient is referred to a specialist. If tumors are small, it can be removed surgically. However, it will have to be treated with a combination of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery. This depends on the stage of cancer.
People who have a history of extensive use of tobacco products and consumption of alcohol are in the highest risk category for oral and particularly tongue cancer. Like any form of cancer, tongue cancer is also life-threatening. Depending on the severity, the tongue could be removed and reconstructed using plastic surgery. This could lead to distortion of facial features and a loss in normal speaking abilities.