In oral cavity (mouth) cancer, two-thirds of the tongue (towards the front) gets affected by the cancer. Oropharyngeal cancer occurs when the base of the tongue (near the back of the throat) has developed a cancer. Tongue cancer is a rare medical disorder that affects few people. Mouth cancer symptoms are similar in nature to the symptoms of Oropharyngeal cancer. Other parts of the mouth such as the lips, cheeks, hard palate (bony roof of the mouth), floor of the mouth below the tongue, minor salivary glands and gums are also affected by mouth cancer.
Effective treatment of tongue cancer requires early diagnosis and adequate knowledge about tongue cancer symptoms. Some symptoms of the disorder are prominent
Among all the tongue cancer symptoms, the first one that is noticed is a red or white spot on the tongue. This spot may vary in size from being small to medium, and can also be found on the lining of the mouth or gums. The spot turns into a firm spot and develops raised edges as the cancer progresses.
Experiencing throat pain or having difficulty while chewing or swallowing food is among the common signs and symptoms of tongue cancer. It is known as dysphagia. This is also a common symptom of a strep throat (sore throat). However, if this symptom is accompanied by the one mentioned above, then this is a clear indication of a tongue cancer.
Bleeding is a usual symptom seen in people suffering from tongue cancer. Bleeding results from the cancer spots that break open due to the force of friction exerted by chewing, swallowing or drinking, etc. The spot is too tender to tolerate pressure of any kind and thus bleeds easily. Apart from bleeding, the affected person may also develop throat ulcer and ulcerated sore on tongue or lumps on the tongue or mouth. The ulcer does not show any signs of subsiding or healing.
The voice of the person may also seem a bit changed from the usual tone, accompanied by an ache localized in the middle or inner ear. The breath and taste of the mouth goes from bad to worse. This is due to the fact that tongue cancer is like an infection. That is why it produces a bad breath in the mouth and the tongue feels a disgusting taste. This foul smell due to the cancer is different from typical bad breath. So it is important to observe that if this symptom occurs along with other tongue cancer symptoms, it is an alarm of a possible tongue cancer.
Other tongue cancer symptoms include bleeding and painful tongue lesion (an injury to living tissue ) that refuses to heal, reduced movement of the tongue than normal, difficulty in opening the mouth and presence of a mass in the neck.
As mentioned in the previous segment, oropharyngeal cancer has several base of tongue cancer symptoms. Similar symptoms like facing difficulty or extreme pain while swallowing foods or liquids may occur. Lump in the back of the throat may be observed with an unexplainable weight loss. Swollen lymph nodes in neck are also one of the severe tongue cancer symptoms that may result in developing a lump in the neck and pain in the ear area. A persistent sore throat is the most prominent symptom of a tongue cancer. This may be an indication that the mouth has been affected by an ulcer or a tumor that is thrusting against the nerves.
Cancer is a nasty disease that affects the body in more than just one way and that too in a severe manner. Its early diagnosis and hasty treatment is the best way to curb its progress to a chronic stage, where it becomes almost irreversible in most cases. Seeking for medical aid at an early stage can be ensured by keeping your hands full of information, regarding tongue cancer symptoms. This provides attention and immediate treatment of the disease when it is the weakest at its initial stage.