Causes and Risk Factors
The actual cause of tongue cancer is unknown.
However, a probable cause would have to be poor oral hygiene. Smoking and alcohol consumption are also linked to causing this type of cancer. Other causes of this type of cancer also come from jagged teeth, dentures that do not fit well and projecting fillings.
If a person has any of the risk factors mentioned below, then they are prone to getting this type of cancer, however, this does not mean that it is a guarantee that they will have tongue cancer.
- Men who are included in the older age bracket are prone to getting tongue cancer. However, there are instances where younger men get diagnosed with this type of cancer as well.
- Smoking and alcohol consumption are also risk factors. If people do these often, then it is most likely that they may develop this type of cancer compared to people who do not smoke or drink.
- People who are diagnosed with HPV (human papillomavirus) have an increased risk of getting this type of cancer.
- Diet is another risk factor because the lack of vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables will increase the chances of getting tongue cancer.
- Weak immune system
- Previous cancer
- Genetic condition
Tongue Cancer Treatment and Prevention
The primary treatments of this type of cancer involve radiotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy, and either one of these can be combined or done individually. All these treatments are not necessary for every type of tongue cancer since the treatments depend on what stage and progression.
Since the causes and risk factors have been identified, the prevention of this type of cancer would be to avoid doing some of the activities included in said causes.
- Avoid smoking
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Avoid exposing the lips to too much sunlight
- Book an appointment with your dentist regularly
Complications of Treatment
There may be complications that would start to emerge once oral treatment has commenced. Treatment for aggressive cancers (chemotherapy and radiation) will increase the likelihood of having the following complications: