Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
WHAT IS TONGUE CANCER?
Tongue cancer is a form of head and neck cancer.
Cancer can develop in the oral tongue - the front two-thirds that is visible when you poke your tongue out at someone - which is classed as mouth cancer.
Or it can start in the base of the tongue near the throat, which is a form of oropharyngeal cancer.
SYMPTOMS MAY INCLUDE:
● Red or white patch that does not go away
● Persistent sore throat
● Ulcer or lump on the tongue that does not ease
● Pain when swallowing
● Numbness in the mouth
● Unexplained bleeding
● Ear pain (this is rare)
Most head and neck cancers have no clear cause, however, smoking, excessive drinking and the HPV virus are risk factors.
Early cancer (when the growth is smaller than 4cm and contained in the tongue) can be removed via surgery.
Radiotherapy may also be required.