Unlike general dentistry, which focuses on routine examinations and treatment, restorative dentistry is a specialization focusing on the repair or replacement of damaged or missing teeth. Bruxism is a fairly common condition that causes the clenching and grinding of teeth. While no single cause exists for bruxism, the results of teeth grinding are well documented.…
Oral Cancer and How It Can Affect the Tongue
Oral cancer is considered to be one of the most common cancers in the world. It is cancer that forms in the mouth, including on the lips and the tongue. Tongue cancer is a type of oral cancer. It usually causes lesions or tumors. Read on to learn more about the symptoms of tongue cancer and your various treatment options.
Tongue cancer forms in the front two-thirds of a person’s tongue. Cancer that forms in the back of a person’s tongue is regarded to be a type of head and neck cancer. Several types of cancers affect the tongue. But tongue cancer often develops in the squamous cells on the tongue’s surface.
Oral cancer symptoms
Symptoms of oral cancer can include a painful tongue, a hoarse voice, or sores and mouth ulcers that will not heal. Some people experience neck or ear pain or feel pain when swallowing. White or red patches may appear on the lining of the mouth or the tongue. A lump in the mouth, difficulty moving the jaw or tongue, thickening of the mouth’s lining, or a sore throat are also other common symptoms.
Tongue cancer symptoms
The symptoms of tongue cancer are usually similar to those of other forms of oral cancer. They may vary from person to person. In some cases, the symptoms may not be evident in the early stages. Sometimes, the signs are mistaken for a persistent sore in the mouth or even a persistent cold.
Other symptoms include tongue and/or jaw pain, difficulty swallowing or chewing, difficulty moving the tongue or jaw, or a lump in the mouth. There may be a red or white patch on the tongue, gums, tonsil, or lining of the mouth. It is not uncommon for people to have a sore throat or to feel like something is stuck in the throat. But a person may have some of these symptoms without having the disease or other type of oral cancer.
Patients with tongue cancer often require surgery. Tumor resection involves an operation that helps remove the entire tumor from the tongue. Radiation therapy may also be recommended. This involves the administration of high radiation doses to cancerous tissues of the tongue. The technology that is used spares healthy tissue and shortens procedure times. Chemotherapy is usually combined with radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells through the patient’s body. This may be a good option if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. Different types of chemotherapy drugs can be combined to attack cancer cells. Targeted drug therapy is another common option. This treatment interferes with the growth of cancer cells on a molecular level. It can be combined with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy as part of a treatment plan.
One common treatment option for tongue cancer is surgery to remove cancer. Radiation therapy, targeted drug therapy, and chemotherapy may also be recommended. It is important for people to watch out for the signs and symptoms of all types of oral cancers. If you want to find out more about the treatment options for tongue cancer, talk to your dentist today.
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