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Cancer of the tongue

Cancer of the tongue is one of the oral cancers. It particularly affects people over the age of 50 and is similar to the formation of blisters on the tongue, pain or difficulty swallowing.

Definition of cancer of the tongue

The cancer of the tongue is one of the oral cancers, affecting the inside of the mouth.

In the majority of cases, the cancer of the tongue concerns the mobile part, the tip of the tongue. In other, rarer cases, this cancer can develop in the posterior part of the tongue.

Whether it is an attack of the tip of the tongue or the part further downstream, the clinical signs are generally similar. Nevertheless, symptomatic differences may occur depending on the origin of the disease.

Oral cancers, especially of the tongue, are relatively rare. They represent only 3% of all cancers.

Different type of oral cancer

Carcinoma of the floor of the tongue,

Characterized by an important development of cancer, starting from the tip of the tongue. Pains in the ears may be related, increasing salivation, but also speech difficulties or oral bleeding. This type of cancer of the tongue is particularly due to a lack of oral hygiene or by irritation of the tissues, caused by very sharp teeth. But also by a poorly adapted or badly maintained dental prosthesis, or by a consequent smoking.

Carcinoma of the cheek,

Characterized by a malignant lesion (leading to the development of a tumor) in the cheek. Pain, difficulty chewing, involuntary contractions of the cheek muscles or oral bleeding are associated with this type of cancer.

Causes of cancer of the tongue

The exact cause of such a cancer is often unknown. However, inadequate or inadequate oral hygiene, or stains on the teeth, can be causes.

The cancer of the tongue is often associated with the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, the development of cirrhosis of the liver or syphilis.

Oral irritation or poorly maintained dentures can cause this cancer.

Genetic predispositions are not to be totally dissociated in the development of a cancer of the tongue. This origin, however, is poorly documented.

Who is affected by a cancer of the tongue

Cancer of the tongue particularly affects men over 60 years of age. In rare cases, it may also affect women under 40 years of age. Nevertheless, every individual, regardless of age, is not totally immune to this risk.

Symptoms of cancer of the tongue

Generally, the first signs of cancer of the tongue are similar to: the appearance of blisters, of reddish color, on the side of the tongue. These blisters are persistent over time and heal spontaneously over time. They may, however, bleed if bitten or manipulated.

In the early days, the cancer of the tongue is asymptomatic. The symptoms appear gradually, causing pain in the tongue, a change in the tone of the voice or difficulty swallowing and swallowing.

Risk factors for tongue cancer

The risk factors for such a cancer are:

  • advanced age (> 50 years old)
  • abacism
  • Alcohol consumption
  • inadequate oral hygiene.

Treatment of cancer of the tongue

The first diagnosis is visual, by the observation of reddish blisters. These results in tissue samples taken from the site suspected to be affected by cancer. The ‘Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) may be useful in determining the exact location and size of the tumor.

Drug treatment is possible in the context of the management of such a cancer. The treatment however varies according to the stage and the advance of the cancer.

Surgical intervention and the use of radiotherapy may also be necessary for the treatment of cancer of the tongue.

Doctors agree that prevention is inevitable, however, to limit the risk of developing cancer of the tongue. This prevention includes not stopping smoking, limiting alcohol consumption or proper and daily oral hygiene.


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