Your tongue feels different than usual? There are signs that should lead you to the doctor. You can find out which symptoms indicate tongue cancer here.
Cause of tongue cancer: alcohol to HPV viruses
Tumors can form in all regions of the body – including the mouth and tongue. The most common cancers of the head and neck include laryngeal cancer, pharyngeal cancer and tongue cancer. According to the Munich Clinic Schwabing, these cancers are primarily caused by risk factors such as heavy alcohol consumption and smoking – variables that can be easily influenced. However, human papilloma viruses (HPV viruses) can also promote tumors in the head and neck area. A genetic predisposition also favors the development of tongue cancer (also called tongue carcinoma).
Tongue cancer: with these symptoms in the oral cavity you should act quickly
Tongue cancer is a malignant, but relatively rare tumor, which is mainly found in the rear third of the tongue. Usually, the tumor develops in the uppermost layer of the mucosa, which is technically called squamous epithelium. Tongue cancer therefore falls into the category of "squamous cell carcinoma".
As with all cancers, the earlier tongue cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of cure. Decisive for the chance of success of a treatment is above all tumor size and metastasis, as reported by the health portal Onmeda. If the cancer has not yet spread – i.e., if no metastases have formed in the body – and doctors can surgically remove the entire tumor, the chances of recovery are good.
If the cancer of the tongue is already advanced, the chances of cure decrease considerably, which is why you should consult a medical specialist as soon as possible if you experience the following tongue cancer symptoms:
– Foreign body sensation in the mouth and throat – Burning sensation on the tongue or burning in the mouth – Difficulty swallowing – Sore throat – Problems speaking – Sore spots underneath or on the side of the tongue that do not heal and can bleed – Enlarged lymph nodes on the neck and lower jaw
Solid nodules or growths: What does tongue cancer look like?
Tongue cancer can take different forms. Thus, there are flat tumors located in the mucosa, Carcinomas that feel like firm nodules or those that protrude from the skin like cauliflowers. Only a specialist can make the correct diagnosis and, depending on the stage of the cancer, will decide whether surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy is an option.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue is treacherous because it is seldom initially noticeable in the form of symptoms. Therefore, you should not neglect cancer screening examinations.
The above information does not replace a visit to a medical specialist. If necessary, he or she will refer you to the appropriate specialist, who will make a well-founded diagnosis and initiate suitable therapies.