Tongue cancer is associated with oropharyngeal cancer, oral cancer, or oral cavity cancer. In tongue cancer the squamous cells in the tongue widen uncontrollably making way for the growth of tumours. Cancer of the tongue is curable if detected early, however this may lead or may metastasize to other body parts if left untreated.
Tongue cancer and other oral cancer are caused by many factors and the most common cause is intense smoking and heavy alcohol drinking. Family history of cancer is also a contributing factor. People who fall on the above category have the high risk for tongue cancer. Men over 40 are also high risk compared to women because of their lifestyle. Poor oral hygiene, recurrent oral ulcers, and irritation of the mucous membrane are also known as contributing factors for cancer of the tongue.
So how would a person know if he has tongue cancer? The following are the tongue cancer symptoms:
Lesion, Lump, or Ulcer on the Tongue
Check your tongue for any lesion or lump or ulcer because this is one of the warning signs of cancer. But an occurrence of one lesion or lump does not necessarily mean that a person has a cancer. If there is any abnormal growth, better have it check for early detection if this is cancer. This abnormal growth usual grows on the upper region or underside of the tongue.
Upon medical consultation, the doctor may extract portion of the lump for pathology purposes to check if it is really cancerous and what type of treatment is needed.
Difficulty of Swallowing
Anyone may experience difficulty of swallowing and having it for a day or two does not indicate that a person has tongue cancer. However if this difficulty persist better have it check for this may be one of the tongue cancer symptoms.
Mouth sore is not really something to be afraid of because this is common especially if a person had eaten something hot or spicy. On the other hand, if this soreness does not resolve in a week or two, the person should consult a doctor or a family physician may do. If the mouth sore is suspected as cancerous they may refer the person to an oncologist, the doctor specializing cancer.
Cancer cells kill the nerves of the affected bod part making it numb or lose its sensation. Same goes with the tongue if diagnosed with tongue cancer. If the numbness does not go on its own, have it check right away because this means that there is something seriously wrong.
Hoarseness of Voice
If changes of voice happen due to swollen tongue or mouth sores, this may indicate some problem. Not a conclusive of cancer but better have it checked because there is a problem for sure.
If there if pain during chewing and there is no other persisting problem like tooth ache or sore, go to the doctor right away for consultation because this is one of the conclusive symptoms of tongue cancer.
Bleeding may be due to something else, like when one brushes his teeth too hard or if has eaten something. However, if the person tastes blood even after doing nothing, this may indicate oral disorder; maybe not cancer but better have it check before it’s too late.
The tongue cancer symptoms can be detected by the person himself, because he is the only person who would know the things that are happening to his body. If one feels something suspicious better talk to medical experts right away. Tongue cancer is curable is detected early, so it is advisable to talk to family doctors before it’s too late.
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