Q:

What is tongue cancer?

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Quick Answer

Tongue cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the tongue cells, states Mayo Clinic. Unlike other types of cancer that attack the tongue, tongue cancer mostly originates in the squamous cells located on the tongue surface. The treatment for tongue cancer depends on the type of cells infected.

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Full Answer

Tongue cancer occurs either in the mouth or in the throat, explain s Mayo Clinic. A tongue cancer that occurs in the mouth is called oral tongue cancer. Aside from being visible, the individual can feel oral tongue cancer, and doctors can detect it in its earliest stage and easily treat it with surgery.

The tongue cancer that develops in the throat is known as hypopharyngeal tongue cancer, according to Mayo Clinic. This type of cancer involves few signs and symptoms, which means its diagnosis happens at an advanced stage after the cancer cells have spread to the neck lymph nodes and the tumor has enlarged.

Surgery to remove the tumor is the typical way to treat tongue cancer, notes Mayo Clinic. Other treatment methods include radiation therapy, chemotherapy and targeted drug therapy. An individual with a tongue cancer may lose his speech and eating abilities after a cancer treatment. To remedy this situation, such a person should undergo rehabilitation to help him cope with these side effects.

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