Tongue cancer can occur on the surface or in the tongue's underlying tissues. Identifying symptoms of tongue cancer as early as possible is crucial since it helps to improve treatment outcomes. Having dental checkups at least twice a year can help detect these signs and start treatment before the disease worsens. Here are the first signs of tongue cancer, but they may differ depending on the tumor's size and location:
Soreness or Extreme Pain
You may experience persistent pain and soreness if you have tongue cancer. You may feel pain either in the mouth or tongue.
Red or White Patches
People with tongue cancer may have red or white patches on the tongue. You can also notice some inflammation and swelling on these patches.
Tingling or Numbness
The tumor can develop in the nerves that transmit sensation to the tongue, causing numbness. When the tumor expands, it exacts pressure on the nerves, causing them to malfunction or get destroyed. You may also experience severe pain or scorching sensation in the tongue on the numbed area.
Tongue cancer may induce ulceration or sores on the tongue's surface that can bleed. Also, the tumor can damage the tongue's blood vessels and cause inflammation or irritation, leading to bleeding.
People with tongue cancer may experience some swallowing difficulties. When the tumor expands and spreads in the tongue, it makes it difficult for the tongue to move and collaborate with other swallowing muscles. As a result, food can get trapped in the throat when eating or cause a choking sensation.
Changes in Tongue Texture
Tongue cancer can make your tongue feel rough or lumpy when touched. Also, the tumor can make the tongue to have some sores or be ulcerated, further affecting the tongue texture. The damage to taste buds can change the texture perception and sense of taste.
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