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Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Tongue Curable

Systemic Therapies For Metastatic Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma survivor on the importance of the HPV vaccine
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A/Professor Alexander Guminski, Sydney Chng, Cancer Council Australia Keratinocyte Cancers Guideline Working Party. Clinical question:Protocol to treat local regional SCC . In: Clinical practice guidelines for keratinocyte cancer. Sydney: Cancer Council Australia. . Available from: .

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  • Is Tongue Cancer Painful

    Some of the first signs of tongue cancer often include a painful lump or sore on the side of the tongue that may bleed easily and resist healing. Mouth or tongue pain is also a common symptom. Other painful symptoms include:

    • Persistent jaw pain
    • A feeling of something persistently lodged in the throat

    Patient Health And Supportive Care

    Given the complex nature of everyday functions within the head and neck area, the inherent consequences of HNSCC and its treatment and the increasing choices of treatments have a large effect on the health-related QOL of patients with HNSCC.

    The wide array and combinations of treatments all have their specific sequelae, including physical, emotional, functional, social, and occupational dysfunction, as well as a profound effect on the families of patients with HNSCC. Furthermore, HRQOL is significantly associated with survival,. For example, a clinically meaningful association exists between HRQOL scores measured at diagnosis and overall survival of patients after treatment . Depending on the primary tumour site, patients with HNSCC might be confronted with specific symptoms, such as oral dysfunction and swallowing and speech problems, during treatment, which often improve 6 months after treatment. However, long-term reduction in QOL in HNSCC survivors is common. On average, overall HRQOL deteriorated by 11% when compared with pre-treatment, and by 15% when compared with years 1 and 2 post-treatment.

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    What Does Squamous Cell Carcinoma Look Like

    Squamous cell carcinoma , also known as squamous cell cancer, is the second most common type of skin cancer following basal cell carcinoma. About 1 million cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. It begins in the squamous skin cells located in the top layer of skin called the epidermis. The DNA in squamous cells can become damaged from ultraviolet rays from the sun or tanning beds. When this occurs, they begin to grow at an out-of-control rate, leading to skin cancer.

    Fortunately, when caught early, most cases of squamous cell carcinoma are curable. Knowing the early warning signs is critical to receiving an early diagnosis and treatment.

    Unprotected exposure to UV rays is a major risk factor for squamous cell carcinoma. The more time you spend in the sun , the more likely you are to develop SCC. About 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are related to exposure to UV rays. Other risk factors of SCC include light skin, age , male sex, immunosuppression, human papillomavirus, chronic scarring conditions, family history, and toxic exposures.

    Treatment Of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Intraoral view of basaloid squamous cell carcinoma of the ...
    • Surgery, with postoperative radiation or chemoradiation as needed

    For most oral cavity cancers, surgery is the initial treatment of choice. Radiation or chemoradiation is added postoperatively if disease is more advanced or has high-risk features.

    Selective neck dissection is indicated if the risk of nodal disease exceeds 15 to 20%. Although there is no firm consensus, neck dissections are typically done for any lesion with a depth of invasion > about 3.5 mm.

    Routine surgical reconstruction is the key to reducing postoperative oral disabilities procedures range from local tissue flaps to free tissue transfers. Speech and swallowing therapy may be required after significant resections.

    Radiation therapy is an alternative treatment. Chemotherapy is not used routinely as primary therapy but is recommended as adjuvant therapy along with radiation in patients with advanced nodal disease.

    Treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the lip is surgical excision with reconstruction to maximize postoperative function. When large areas of the lip exhibit premalignant change, the lip can be surgically shaved, or a laser can remove all affected mucosa. Mohs surgery can be used. Thereafter, appropriate sunscreen application is recommended.

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    What Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of Tongue

    • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Tongue is a common malignant tumor that typically affects elderly men and women. It is more aggressive than conventional squamous cell carcinoma affecting other body regions
    • The cause of the condition is unknown, but genetic mutations may be involved. Factors that may influence its development include smoking and chewing of tobacco, radiation treatment for other reasons, and exposure to coal tar and arsenic
    • The squamous cell carcinoma may appear as slow-growing skin lesions. The lesions may ulcerate and cause scarring of the tongue. It may be difficult to eat, swallow food, or even to speak
    • The treatment of choice is a surgical excision with clear margins followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy, as decided by the healthcare provider. In majority of the cases, the prognosis is good with appropriate treatment
    • Nevertheless, the prognosis of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Tongue depends upon many factors including the stage of the tumor and health status of the affected individual. There is a possibility of local or regional metastasis, which can involve the lymph nodes. This may dictate the course of the condition

    When To Remove An Oral Tumor In A Cat

    When mandibular lymph nodes are affected, they are typically removed at the same time as tumor removal. Surgical removal is the standard treatment for all oral tumors. If the tumor has invaded bone, its removal may be difficult, and it may be necessary to remove a portion of your cats jaw.

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    Common Tongue Cancer Symptoms

    Symptoms of tongue cancer are very similar to symptoms of other types of oral cancer. These signs are often mistaken for a cold that wont go away, or a persistent sore in the mouth. Other tongue cancer symptoms may include:

    • Persistent tongue and/or jaw pain
    • A lump or thickening in the inside the mouth
    • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil or lining of the mouth
    • A sore throat or persistent feeling that something is caught in the throat
    • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
    • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue

    How Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of Tongue Treated

    Squamous cell carcinoma survivor shares her story

    Early diagnosis and treatment of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Tongue is important to avoid complications such as metastasis to other regions. The treatment measures may include:

    • In most cases, a wide surgical excision and removal of the entire tumor is the preferred treatment option . This may be followed by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy
    • If the tumor has metastasized , then a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and invasive procedures may be used to treat the tumor
    • Targeted therapy medications are generally used for locally infiltrated or metastatic SCCs. This therapy destroys the tumor cells by acting against the proteins that are responsible for tumor growth
    • Post-operative care is important: One must maintain minimum activity levels, until the surgical wound heals
    • Follow-up care with regular screening and check-ups are important and encouraged

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    Common Mouth Cancer Symptoms

    Symptoms of mouth cancer are similar to those associated with other forms of oral cancer. These symptoms are often mistaken for a cold that won’t go away or a persistent sore in the mouth. Other mouth cancer symptoms may include:

    • Persistent tongue and/or jaw pain
    • A lump or thickening in the inside of the mouth
    • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil or lining of the mouth
    • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
    • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue

    Where Squamous Cell Carcinoma Occurs

    SCC can be found anywhere on the body, but is most commonly seen in sun-exposed areas. Common SCC sites include the face, ears, lips, scalp, shoulders, neck, hands, and forearms. Its also possible to be diagnosed with SCC in areas without sun exposure, such as inside the mouth, under fingernails or toenails, on the genitals, or in the anus.

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    Factors Affecting Squamous Cell Carcinoma Prognosis

    There are a handful of factors that can affect a patients prognosis, including:

    • Having a weakened immune system
    • The location of the tumortumors found on the face, scalp, fingers and toes spread more easily, as do tumors that arise in an open wound
    • If the cancer has recurred
    • Larger tumors and those that are growing deep in the skin

    Endoscopic Procedures: Panendoscopy Narrow Band Imaging Transoral Robotic Surgery And Transoral Laser Microsurgery

    A squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue.

    In NCUP of levels I, II, III, and VA of the neck, the next step in the traditional algorithm is the panendoscopy or triple endoscopy, including direct laryngoscopy, rigid or flexible bronchoscopy, and rigid or flexible esophagoscopy . Due to the exceedingly low incidence of clinically occult primary in the lung or esophagus with a metastatic node in the neck, many centers have now abandoned the practice of bronchoscopy and esophagoscopy in the search of the unknown primary. Bronchoscopy and esophagoscopy as endoscopic screening for second primaries, not causative of the neck mass, also remains controversial, but has its advocates . On the other hand direct laryngoscopy and careful endoscopy of the nasopharynx is clearly warranted. Examination under anesthesia is far superior to the office examination at identifying a primary tumor, because of relaxation of the pharyngeal musculature and ability to palpate base of tongue, tonsils and nasopharynx. Any firm nodularity, or bleeding on palpation requires biopsy of these suspicious areas .

    The literature prior to the era of HPV-related cancer showed increased survival associated with the initial identification of the primary tumor in patients with NCUP . However more recent publications have not been able to show statistically improved survival rates, although other benefits occur with identification of primary tumors, such as precision in planning radiation ports .

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    Symptoms And Signs Of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Oral lesions are asymptomatic initially, highlighting the need for oral screening. Most dental professionals carefully examine the oral cavity and oropharynx during routine care and may do a brush biopsy of abnormal areas. The lesions may appear as areas of erythroplakia or leukoplakia and may be exophytic or ulcerated. Cancers are often indurated and firm with a rolled border. As the lesions increase in size, pain, dysarthria, and dysphagia may result.

      This photo shows a close-up of the inside of the mouth in a patient with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral mucosa.


      Erythroplakia is a general term for red, flat, or eroded velvety lesions that develop in the mouth. In this image, an exophytic squamous cell carcinoma on the tongue is surrounded by a margin of erythroplakia.

    Image provided by Jonathan A. Ship, DMD.

      Leukoplakia is a general term for white hyperkeratotic plaques that develop in the mouth. About 80% are benign. However, in this image, squamous cell carcinoma is present in one of the leukoplakic lesions on the ventral surface of the tongue .

    Image provided by Jonathan A. Ship, DMD.

    Treatment For Base Of Tongue Cancer

    Treatment options vary based on the stage of cancer, whichincludes its size, location, and whether it has spread. Whenever possible, wedevelop a plan that preserves the patients ability to breathe, talk, and eatnormally. The most common treatments for cancer of the base of the tongue are surgeryand radiation therapy.

    Our treatment options for this type of cancer include thefollowing, sometimes in combination:

    Surgery: Depending on the extent of the cancer, we canoften remove tumors through the mouth , while other tumors requireopen surgery . Surgical options include:

    • Glossectomyto remove part or all of the tongue,which then requires reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation to regain theability to speak and swallow
    • Laryngectomyto remove the larynx ifcancer has spread to it, which also involves surgery to create a stoma for breathing
    • Neckdissection to remove one or morelymph nodes or other tissues in the neck, if cancer has spread there

    Radiationtherapy: Our doctors often use radiation, treatment withhigh-energy waves such as X-rays, to destroy cancer cells left after surgery.Radiation therapy can also treat inoperable tumors.

    • Chemotherapy:Anticancer medications work to destroy cancer cells and prevent them fromspreading. We sometimes use chemotherapy before or during radiation therapyand/or surgery to destroy as many cancer cells as possible.
    • Chemoradiation:Chemotherapy given at the same time as radiation therapy is known aschemoradiation.

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    It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need

    See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

    The bad news: Oral cancer is common.

    The good news: If you have oral cancer and your doctor finds and treats it early, it usually is very curable. Oral cancer can usually be detected by a doctor or dentist in a routine mouth exam. And avoiding smoking and tobacco can go a long way to reducing your risk as the majority of people who get oral cancer are smokers or tobacco users.

    Like other cancers, oral cancer is characterized by cells that begin to change, grow out of control and often clump together into a mass called a tumor. Oral cancers are part of a group of cancers known as head and neck cancers and can occur:

    • In the mouth: Including your lips, gums, cheek lining, the floor of your mouth , the front part of your tongue and the roof of your mouth
    • In the throat: Including the back of your tongue, the back part of the roof of your mouth , the back of your throat and your tonsils

    Oral cancer can interfere with eating, talking and even breathing. Each year, between 30,000 and 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer, and it claims the lives of some 10,000 people.

    But most cases of oral cancer are treatable, and the chances of treating oral cancer successfully are improved with early diagnosis and treatment

    What Are The Types Of Oral Cancer

    Tongue cancer survivor appreciates team approach

    First, its important to know that not all tumors in the mouth are cancerous. Some are benign, which means they are not cancer. And some cases are called precancerous, which means they may develop into cancer.

    Of cancerous oral tumors, more than 90 percent are a type of cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. These cancers arise in the lining of the oral cavity and can spread deeper into other nearby parts of the mouth.

    Other, less-common oral cancers include those arising in the salivary glands. These are called adenoid cystic carcinoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma and polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma.

    Most cases of oral cancer are treatable, and the chances of treating oral cancer successfully are improved with early diagnosis and treatment.

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    Moffitt Cancer Centers Approach To Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    At Moffitt Cancer Center, our multispecialty team of cancer experts takes a highly individualized approach to squamous cell carcinoma treatment. We offer the latest diagnostic and treatment options, and we work closely with each patient to offer customized guidance and help ensure the best possible outcome. For instance, there are many steps a patient can take to improve his or her own squamous cell carcinoma prognosis regardless of the general survival rate such as:

    • Performing self-examinations from head to toe, including parts of the body that are not regularly exposed to UV rays, at least monthly, and promptly reporting any suspicious or unusual changes in skin texture or appearance to a physician
    • Seeing a physician for a professional skin cancer examination yearly
    • Avoiding exposure to the suns ultraviolet rays while outdoors, preventive measures include seeking shade, wearing sunglasses and a brimmed hat, covering up with clothing and using a broad spectrum sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection
    • Never using indoor tanning beds

    If youd like to learn more about the squamous cell carcinoma survival rate, the experts at Moffitt can put this information into the proper context for you and help you take appropriate steps to achieve the best possible outcome. Call or complete a new patient registration form online. We see patients with and without referrals.

    Squamous Cell Carcinoma Survival Rate

    In general, the squamous cell carcinoma survival rate is very highwhen detected early, the five-year survival rate is 99 percent. Even if squamous cell carcinoma has spread to nearby lymph nodes, the cancer may be effectively treated through a combination of surgery and radiation treatment. Nevertheless, a patient who has been treated for squamous cell carcinoma in the past always faces the possibility of a recurrence, so lifelong monitoring to increase the chance of early detection is highly encouraged.

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    Factors That Could Affect Your Prognosis

    Certain aspects of your health or cancer could affect your outlook. For example, people who have a weakened immune system from a disease like HIV or a medication they take tend to have a less positive outlook.

    The location of the tumor also matters. Cancers on the face, scalp, fingers, and toes are more likely to spread and return than those on other parts of the body. SCC that starts in an open wound is also more likely to spread.

    Larger tumors or ones that have grown deep in the skin have a higher risk of growing or returning. If a cancer does recur after treatment, the prognosis is less positive than it was the first time around.

    Ask your doctor if you have any risk factors that can be managed or controlled. You may need more aggressive treatment, or to be monitored more closely for recurrence.

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    Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Oral Cavity

    an extensive squamous cell carcinoma of the lateral

    More than 90 percent of mouth cancers are squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cells are thin, flat cells that look like fish scales. They are found in the tissue that forms the surface of the skin, the lining of the hollow organs of the body, and the lining of the respiratory and digestive tracts. Carcinoma means cancer.

    Squamous cell carcinoma most commonly appears on parts of the body frequently exposed to the sun, such as the face, ears, and neck. But it also arises in the mouth.

    Less common cancers of the oral cavity include:

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