Question about Head and neck cancerMy dad has been diagnosed with cancer of the tongue. What can you tell me about this kind of cancer?
Cancer of the tongue can be treated with surgery with the extent of surgery dependent on the 'stage' of cancer i.e wether it has spread to the neck, other tissues or other parts of the body. Small cancers isolated from the tongue can be excised and stitched together. Larger cancers will require removal of lymph glands in the neck and reconstruction with a 'free flap' of tissue to replace the lost tissue. In the vast majority of cases, speech, swallowing and oral function are returned to satisfactory levels. A dental assessment is also important as part of the treatment. You may require post-operative treatment such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy dependent on the features of the removed cancer.
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Oral and Maxillo-facial surgeon
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