Some Montana patients have developed cancer in part of their mouth. Tongue cancer often forms in the squamous cells that cover the surface of two-thirds of the tongue. Cancer that forms in the remaining one-third of the tongue, which is located in the back of the tongue, is considered to belong to a group of neck or head cancers.
Tongue cancer can have certain symptoms that can often be mistaken for symptoms associated with regular colds or persistent mouth sores. These symptoms can potentially include jaw or tongue pain, thickening inside the mouth, white patches on the gums, tongue or mouth lining and difficulty chewing or swallowing. Other symptoms could include a sore throat or the persistent feeling of something being caught in the throat.
There are several treatment options available for advanced tongue cancer. These include surgery, targeted drug therapy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. There may be some minimally invasive surgical techniques available depending on the type and size of the tongue cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often used together to help destroy the cancer cells. Targeted drug therapy targets the specific cancerous cells to prevent their growth. In many cases, this technique is combined with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
It is extremely important that tongue cancer be diagnosed in a timely manner to prevent it from metastasizing and traveling to other parts of the body. A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis could result in the need for more radical treatments or even result in a poorer prognosis. A medical malpractice attorney may help a patient who has been harmed in such a manner file a lawsuit against the physician who failed to order the proper diagnostic tests or misdiagnosed the condition.