A small lump is one of the most common tongue cancer symptoms.
The malignant tumor that result due to the abnormal cells accumulation begins as a small lump, a firm white patch, or a sore (ulcer) on the tongue leading to the tongue cancer or cancer of the tongue.
If left unattended and untreated, the tumor may spread to the other parts of the mouth like the floor of the mouth and to the gum or jaws.
In due course of time this tumor grows and spreads or metastasizes to the lymph nodes of the neck forming a threat to life and later to the rest of the body.
This tongue cancer usually affects people over age 40 years and is found to affect men more than women. Tongue is made of two parts the oral and the base. Tongue cancer symptoms can develop in either part.
The oral tongue is the part which is visible when someone â€˜pokes the tongue out’ at someone. This comprises the front two thirds of the tongue. Cancers that develop in this part of the tongue come under a group of cancers called oral cancer or mouth cancer.
Tongue Cancer Risk Factors
Tongue cancer is one of the most common and serious types of mouth cancer. The people who are affected by this cancer are who smoke cigarettes, pipes, or cigars or use smokeless tobacco. People who drink large amounts of alcohol and use tobacco are especially at risk. This is most common after age 60 years.
Thought the exact cause of this cancer, head and neck cancers is unknown there are several risk factors that are identified. The major cause of tongue cancer or cancer of the tongue in the Asian countries is chewing tobacco or betel quid with tobacco. This is responsible for other cancers like the gullet (esophageal) and throat (pharyngeal) cancers in these countries. Other definite risk factors include:
- Poor diet
- Having a weakened immune system
- Being exposed to some chemicals
- Acid reflux
Some Common Tongue Cancer Symptoms or Sigsn of Tongue Cancer
The foremost of the tongue cancer symptoms or signs is a small lump or thick white patch on any part of the tongue. This lump may or may not be painful or tender. As time passes by this lump transforms into an ulcer which become firm, raised and a center of it bleeds easily.
The tongue cancer symptoms or sign of tongue cancer may include:
- A red or white patch on the tongue, that will not go away may be a tongue cancer symptom
- A sore spot on the tongue that does not go away
- Sore throat that does not go away
- Pain when swallowing
- Numbness in the mouth that will not go away
- Unexplained bleeding from the tongue
- A rare tongue cancer symptom may be pain in the ear
- Bad breath
- Very difficult to even swallow saliva and drooling may occur
- Breathing difficulties may also arise in the later stage to form the tongue cancer symptom
- Speaking may become difficult and unmanageable
Any of these tongue cancer symptoms observed must be reported to the doctor at the earliest to avoid any complications. Early detection in case of tongue cancer can give a better cure and treatment option (Tongue Cancer Treatment).