Tongue cancer is a type of oral cancer that forms in the front two-thirds of the tongue. Cancer that forms in the back one third of the tongue is considered a type of head and neck cancer. Tongue cancer usually develops in the squamous cells, the thin, flat cells that cover the surface of the tongue. We don’t know the exact causes of most head and neck cancers, but several risk factors have been identified. Smoking tobacco (cigarettes, cigars and pipes) and drinking a lot of alcohol are the main risk factors for cancers of the head and neck in the western world. The HPV virus transmitted through sexual contact is another risk factor. Surgery: Tumor resection involves an operation to remove the entire tumor from the tongue.
Minimally invasive surgical techniques are used whenever possible to treat tongue cancer. Radiation therapy: Your radiation oncologist will administer radiation therapy to cancerous tissues of the tongue, using a high dose with pinpoint accuracy, sparing healthy tissue and shortening procedure times. Chemotherapy: Often combined with radiation therapy, chemotherapy uses anticancer drugs to destroy cancer cells throughout the body. It may be an option if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Different chemotherapy drugs can be combined to attack cancer cells at varying stages of their growth cycles and decrease the chance of drug resistance. Targeted drug therapy: Targeted drug therapy targets cancerous cells to interfere with cell growth on a molecular level. It is often combined with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy as part of a tongue cancer treatment plan. 318 per 100,000 have been found affected by this disease.