Tom Parker speaks about his cancer treatment in 2021
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Meanwhile, the base of the tongue is the underneath part a person sees when they lift their tongue up.
Almost all symptoms of tongue cancer appear in the mouth.
One of the symptoms according to Cancer Research UK is “unexplained bleeding from the tongue”.
So too is a pain in the ear; however, this is rare.
Other symptoms of tongue cancer include:
• A red or white patch on the tongue that won’t go away
• A sore throat that doesn’t go away
• A sore spot or lump on the tongue that doesn’t go away
• Pain when swallowing
• Numbness in the mouth that won’t go away
• Pain or burning feeling over the tongue
• Problems moving your tongue or speaking
• A lump in the neck.
While these are signs of tongue cancer, Cancer Research UK pointed out: “These symptoms might be due to a less serious medical condition.”
The precise cause of most head and neck cancers isn’t known, but several risk factors are known.
The main three are: smoking tobacco, whether it be cigarettes, cigars, or pipes; regular alcohol consumption; and an infection with the HPV (human papilloma virus).
Gender is also a factor with men more likely to develop cancer than women.
Tongue cancer can be tested for in a number ways including a biopsy, an examination under anaesthetic, and a nasendoscope.
A nasendoscope occurs when a doctor pushes a tube known as a nasendoscope into the nose; the tube has a camera and light at the end so the doctor can look for any abnormal looking areas.
Other tests include:
• MRI scan
• CT scan
• PET-CT scan
• Blood tests
• Dental check
• Ultrasound scan.
Treatment for mouth cancer may include surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy.
Mouth cancer can also cause several complications including the emotional impact described by some as a roller coaster effect.
Furthermore, some patients experience difficulty swallowing and problems with speech in the aftermath of the condition.
A speech or language therapist will be available to help patients improve their speech with a range of exercises.
If you suspect you have symptoms of mouth cancer, consult with your GP.
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