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Cancer of the tongue occurs when cells on the tongue become abnormal and start to grow out of control. This usually starts in very thin, flat cells that line the surface of the tongue (squamous cells). Cancer cells can spread and form a mass of cells called a tumour. The cancer may spread deeper into the tongue, or it may spread to other areas of the body (metastasize).
The cause of this condition is not known.
This condition is more likely to develop in:
Tongue cancer may start at the front part of the tongue or at the base of the tongue in the back of the throat. Symptoms that you may notice right away include:
You may notice symptoms of cancer at the base of your tongue later. These symptoms may include:
This condition may be diagnosed based on:
If cancer of the tongue is confirmed, it will be staged to determine its severity and extent. Staging is an assessment of:
The stages of cancer of the tongue are as follows:
Cancer may return (recur) after initial treatment (recurrent cancer). Recurrent cancer can occur in the same location or in another part of the body.
Treatment for this condition depends on the stage of the cancer. Treatment may include:
Follow these instructions at home regarding tongue cancer:
Contact a health care provider if:
Get help right away if:
A personalised cancer screening consultation is a meeting with a qualified consultant medical doctor to explain to you what does cancer screening mean and facilitate your understanding for the genomic and diagnostic tests that are that can help you to achieve your cancer screening and prevention objectives.
Your consultant doctor will aim to answer all your questions regarding the cancer screening programmes and tests that could be beneficial for your overall health and wellbeing.
It is recommended that you book a personalised cancer screening consultation with one of our recognised consultant medical doctors if you have a strong family history of cancer or you have one or more risk factors that may increase your risk of developing a specific type of cancer.
If you are unable to attend to one of our outpatients’ clinics in London for your personalised cancer screening consultation, our consultant medical doctors can arrange to have your personalised cancer screening consultation by secure and encrypted voice conferencing or video conferencing, which can be done from the convenience of your home and using your smartphone.