Head & Neck Cancer Center

Tongue Cancer

Head & Neck Cancer Center

Tongue Cancer

Tongue cancer is a type of cancer that affects the tongue, the small, movable muscle in your mouth that you use for chewing and swallowing. Cancer can develop in any part of the tongue, but it most commonly occurs on the side closest to the back of the throat (the base of the tongue). It hampers chewing and swallowing and is also important for speaking. Tongue cancer is more common in men than in women, and it is most often diagnosed in people over age 50.

Tongue cancer is relatively rare, accounting for about 2 percent of all cancers of the head and neck region. However, incidence rates have been increasing over the past few decades, likely due to increased tobacco and alcohol use.

Tongue cancer usually starts as a small growth or sore on the tongue that does not go away. If left untreated, tongue cancer can spread to other parts of the mouth and throat, as well as to other parts of the body.

While tongue cancer can be deadly, it is highly treatable if caught early. Treatment typically involves surgery, radiation therapy, or a combination of both.

What are the causes of tongue cancer?

Tongue cancer is most often caused by smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products. Drinking alcohol also increases your risk of tongue cancer

Other risk factors include

  • HPV (human papillomavirus) infection
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Oral thrush
  • Eating a diet high in processed meats and low in fruits and vegetables
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Frequent mouthwash use with alcohol
  • Genetic factors

What are the symptoms of Tongue Cancer?

The most common symptom of tongue cancer is a sore or lump on the tongue that doesn’t go away. Other symptoms include:

  1. A change in the way your tongue looks, such as a lesion or ulcer
  2. Difficulty swallowing, speaking or moving the tongue
  3. Pain when swallowing, speaking, or biting down on the tongue
  4. Numbness in the mouth or throat A metallic taste in the mouth
  5. Radiating pain to the ear, jaw, or neck
  6. Unexplained weight loss

These symptoms may not mean that you have tongue cancer, but it’s important to see a doctor if you have any of them.

How to diagnose Tongue Cancer?

The first step in diagnosing tongue cancer is to visit your doctor. He or she will ask about your symptoms and do a physical examination. You may also need one or more of the following tests:

  • A biopsy- This is when a sample of tissue is removed from the tumor for testing.
  • Imaging tests- such as a CT scan, MRI, or PET scan, can help diagnose tongue cancer. They can also help doctors determine if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
  • Blood tests- These tests can help rule out other causes of your symptoms. Once tongue cancer is diagnosed, your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan.

It is important to remember that early detection of tongue cancer increases the chance for successful treatment. If you are concerned about any symptoms you are experiencing, please see your doctor as soon as possible.

What are the best treatments options for Tongue Cancer?

There are a number of treatment options available for tongue cancer, and the best option for each individual will depend on the stage and severity of their cancer. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. In some cases, a combination of these treatments may be recommended

Surgery is often the first line of treatment for tongue cancer. The type of surgery performed will depend on the stage and location of the cancer. For early stage cancers, a partial or total removal of the tongue (resection) may be performed. For more advanced cancers, a radical neck dissection may be necessary in order to remove all of the cancerous tissue

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. It is often used in combination with surgery, particularly for more advanced cancers. Radiation therapy can be administered externally, or internally through the use of implants

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It is often used in combination with radiation therapy and can be given intravenously or orally. Chemotherapy is typically reserved for more advanced cancers

The best treatment option for tongue cancer will be determined by the stage and severity of the cancer, as well as the preferences of the patient. Surgery is often the first line of treatment, but radiation therapy and chemotherapy may also be recommended. In some cases, a combination of these treatments may be necessary to achieve the best possible outcome.

What are the side effects of Tongue Cancer treatments?

The side effects of tongue cancer treatments will vary depending on the type of treatment used. Some common side effects of surgery include pain, swelling, and difficulty speaking.

Radiation therapy may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Chemotherapy may cause hair loss, fatigue, and mouth sores. It is important to discuss the potential side effects of treatment with your doctor before beginning any treatment regimen

It is important to be aware of the potential side effects associated with tongue cancer treatments in order to make an informed decision about which treatment is best for you.

Discussing the possible side effects with your doctor before beginning treatment will help you to make an informed decision about which treatment is best for you.

What are the risks of Tongue Cancer?

Tongue cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer, but the risk of developing the disease increases with age. Other risk factors for tongue cancer include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and a history of head and neck radiation therapy

While tongue cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer, the risk of developing the disease does increase with age. Other risk factors for tongue cancer include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and a history of head and neck radiation therapy. Taking steps to reduce your risk by quitting smoking and drinking in moderation can help to lower your chance of developing tongue cancer

What is the prognosis of tongue cancer?

The prognosis of tongue cancer can vary depending on the stage of the cancer when it is diagnosed. In general, however, the five-year survival rate for patients with tongue cancer is about 50%. This means that about 50% of patients will survive for at least five years after being diagnosed with tongue cancer.

The 10-year survival rate is about 30%. However, these statistics may not be accurate because they are based on data from patients who were treated a long time ago. Newer treatments may improve the prognosis for tongue cancer.

Dr. Vineet Kaul Head and Neck Surgical Oncologist CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram Hypopharyngeal Cancer, Laryngeal Cancer, Lip and Oral Cavity Cancer, Metastatic Squamous Neck Cancer with Occult Primary, Nasopharyngeal Cancer, Oropharyngeal Cancer, Paranasal Sinus and Nasal Cavity Cancer, Salivary Gland Cancer, Oral Cancer, Throat Cancer, pharynx Cancer, Voice box Cancer, larynx Cancer, Paranasal sinuses Cancer, nasal cavity Cancer, Salivary glands Cancer, Head Cancer, Neck Cancer, Lip and oral cavity surgery, Laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer surgery, Thyroid and parathyroid gland surgery, Salivary gland surgery, Nose and sinus tumour surgery, Mandible (lower jaw) and Maxilla (upper jaw) tumour surgery, Microlaryngeal surgery, Laryngotracheal reconstruction, Paediatric head and neck solid tumour surgery, Scalp and face cutaneous cancer surgery, Minimal access to head and neck surgery, Endoscopic and open skull base surgery, Complex neck neurogenic tumours and paraganglioma surgery,

Dr Vineet Kaul has an overall experience of more than 9 years. Before joining the CK Birla Hospital, he was working as a Consultant, Head & Neck Surgery at Artemis Hospital, Gurugram. Dr Vineet Kaul is a versatile and experienced Head and Neck Surgical Oncologist. He did his fellowship training at IFHNOS-MSKCC, New York. Then he completed his clinical observership at the prestigious head and neck DMG, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai. Dr Vineet is well-trained in performing head and neck plastic reconstruction procedures and complex anterior and lateral skull base surgeries. Also, he has numerous publications in national and international journals to his credit. He is a life member of the Foundation for Head and Neck Oncology, India and the Association of Otolaryngologists of India.

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Dr. Vineet Kaul Sir is a highly skilled and enthusiastic Oncosurgeon. He manages challenging and difficult cancer surgeries like Head & Neck surgeries in a wonderful way. His Care for the patient before , during and after operation is commendable. From consultation and behaviour to the treatment, minimal access to the surgical site everything is excellent.
He is a brilliant surgeon.His passion for his branch can be seen while he is performing any cancer surgery.A very polite and down to earth person. Working with him inside OT is always pleasurable.

Mrs. Kaur


Dr. Vineet Kaul is a brilliant cancer surgeon, I had the priviledge of collaborating with him and then could I know the excellent outcome of his surgeries…

A very polite and down to earth person he is….

Highly recommended 👍

Mr. Prabhat


From the consultation and behaviour to the treatment, everything is excellent. Got cancer surgery of my father in law last year and he is alright now.
All the best to Dr. Vineet Kaul

Mrs. Neha Kamal


I consuted Dr. Vineet Kaul regarding my wife. I found his dealing of the patient very compassionate and and full of empathy. His advise was very practical and not economy driven . his knowledge of the subject is latest. I recommend him to all cancer patients.

Mr. Vilas Ram


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