Symptoms of Tongue Tumors

Symptoms of Tongue Tumors

Tongue tumors have several symptoms that can easily be ignored. Symptoms of tongue tumor may include:

(1) Sores inside the mouth:

The patient’s tongue will feel a persistent sore in the mouth, which is difficult to treat and does not disappear after taking medication. These sores are often caused by smoking or chewing tobacco. Some patients tend to have red sores at the tip of their tongue due to injury from sharp edge tools such as knives, pencils, etc., resulting in bleeding when chewing food.

In some cases, patients may mistake these lesions on their tongues for skin cancer because they persist for days without fading away.. [10]  In addition, there are some rare types of cancers, such as fungiform papilloma, Hibernoma, hemangioma, or verrucous carcinoma. These cancers are usually benign, but they rarely recur.

(2) Detectable change in tongue color:

Although most patients do not pay attention to the color of their tongues, some may find that they have a pink or red tongue at times. This is likely due to factors such as vitamin B12 deficiency or anemia caused by blood loss.

However, if changes in the tongue’s color continue for two weeks or more and spread over half of the tongue surface area, it may be evidence of oral cancer. Such cancers are quite serious because of their high rate of relapse after treatment.

(3) Ill-taste in the mouth:

Usually, a change in the taste of the tongue is not a symptom of cancer. However, if the patient feels that his tongue has a bitter or metallic taste and it persists for several weeks, this may be caused by tumors inside the mouth. As mentioned above, sometimes patients have superficial white spots on their tongues – which are often mistaken as harmless spots or merely aesthetic defects. In some cases, these white patches can be due to lingual leukoplakia (white spot), an oral lesion with precancerous characteristics.

(4) Mouth ulcers:

Mouth ulcers appear as small red bumps on the tongue surface. Typically these sores disappear within a few days even without treatment. However, if they persist for more than two months and with no sign of improvement, it may be an early symptom of oral cancer.

(5) Difficulty swallowing:

Patients who have difficulty swallowing due to obstruction in their throat are more likely to have a tumor in the mouth or throat. If this problem persists for several weeks or months at regular intervals, medical professionals should check for possible tumors that could obstruct the patient’s airway.

Patients usually do not suffer from swallowing problems until the growth becomes quite large, blocking off the esophagus completely. However, some patients complain about partial obstruction so they can tolerate solid food but find it difficult to swallow liquids due to the narrowing passage.

Types of tongue cancer:

papillary carcinoma

squamous cell carcinoma

basaloid squamous cell carcinoma

ameloblastoma (rare)- derived of ameloblasts, cells that produce enamel in the mouth.

It can be minor or major:

minor- it is not large and only involves the inside of the mouth. It does not spread to nearby lymph nodes, bones, or other organs. It may recur after treatment.- Major-it is larger than 2 cm across. It grows into nearby soft tissue or bone, spreads to nearby lymph nodes, or spreads to distant parts of the body. (metastasized for). The treatment of both types of cancer is surgery followed by radiation therapy.

early-stage tongue cancer symptoms:

unilateral neck mass

pain and difficulty swallowing

ear-nose-throat problem involving the tongue.

Stage I: The tumor is small and has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or other organs, but it may have invaded nearby tissues. Surgery to remove cancer with radiation therapy is usually recommended for localized cancer in patients without risk factors who can tolerate surgery.

Stage II: The tumor is larger than 2 cm across. It may be growing into or invading nearby bone, muscle, nerves, blood vessels, or organs such as the tongue base (the bottom of the mouth). Patients with tumors that invade these areas usually need more intensive treatment than just surgery after radiation therapy.

Stage III: Cancer has spread beyond the tongue via nearby lymph nodes. Surgery to remove cancer, followed by radiation therapy is usually recommended.

Stage IV: Cancer has spread to other organs or distant parts of the body, most commonly the lungs. The treatment for advanced-stage cancer depends on your overall health and how well you tolerate surgery if it can be done at all. Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may be options depending on where the tumor is located and whether it has grown into or invaded nearby tissue or bone. (metastasized for).


It is a slow-growing benign (noncancerous) tumor that occurs in about 2 out of every 1 million people each year. It begins as a small lump inside the mouth that is not painful. It grows slowly over several years, forming a firm mass of bone-like tissue near the edges of the lips and inside the cheeks.

“Ameloblastoma can be divided into two types: ordinary (or classic) ameloblastoma and atypical ameloblastoma.” “Ordinary or classic ameloblastomas are usually benign (noncancerous) tumors that arise from primitive cells called ameloblasts, which form enamel in young teeth.” “Atypical ameloblastomas are often malignant (cancerous), arising from an abnormal type of cell called an adenomatoid tumor cell.”

Treatment consists of surgical removal of the entire lesion. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or immunotherapy may be necessary as well. In the case of malignant tumors, it is sometimes recommended to extend the surgery to involve nearby lymph nodes as well as distant organs such as lungs. The prognosis depends on the extent of the tumor’s growth and metastasis.

The base of tongue cancer symptoms:

difficulty swallowing

difficulty making words/speaking

weight loss

The symptoms depend on the particular type of cancer

 They can include:

Mouth sores or ulcers that do not heal

Neck pain

Difficulty breathing, chewing, swallowing, or talking

Pain when chewing foods containing seeds or pits The treatment depends on the stage of the disease. Patches are removed with surgery to determine if they are benign growths or malignant cancers. Radiation therapy is used to kill any remaining cancer cells after surgical removal.

Chemoradiation is an option for patients who have recurrent head and neck tumors, including advanced tongue cancer. If your doctor suspects you have tongue cancer, he/she may recommend a biopsy or a needle aspiration to remove cells for testing.

This involves inserting a thin needle through the skin into the tumor and taking out a sample of cells. The sample is examined under a microscope by both your doctor and pathologist to determine whether it is benign or cancerous.

Recent studies have shown that novel compounds can eradicate tongue cancer stem cells without damaging healthy tissue, but translating this success from the laboratory dish to the clinic bedside remains a major challenge in treating head and neck cancers.

squamous cell carcinoma tongue treatment:

supportive treatment to relieve pain

treatment usually involves surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy *. Topical treatments (mucositis) Antibiotics (mouth sores)     Pain medication   Food softeners (if swallowing is impaired)

These cancer cells are no different than the original cancer cells, however, they possess a dangerous characteristic: they can pass through the walls of your blood vessels and spread throughout your body. This is called metastasis (stage 4). This form of cancer has now become very aggressive.

By stage 4, statistics show that most patients who have tongue cancer will die within 5 years after diagnosis if they do not receive any treatment at all It is important to note that, depending on the size of the original cancer and the presence of any new tumors through imaging tests, your doctor may recommend surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

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