Difficulties in diagnosis of carcinoma of the tongue
Introduction. Oral cancer is the second most common malignancy and there is an epidemic alert by WHO for oral cancers projected for 2030. The tongue remains the most common intraoral site for oral cancer worldwide.
Aim. To present a case report.
Description of the case. A 56-year-old patient was suffering from carcinoma of the tongue. He developed metastases in the lungs and upper part of the vertebral column. The PET scan report revealed the presence of hypermetabolic cells in the metastatic tissue. The biopsy of the lesion on the upper part of the back did not show neoplastic cells, epithelioid cells and giant cells. Radiotherapy was given for 25 cycles. Both the lungs were affected by metastases. Lastly the patient expired due to cardio-respiratory failure.
Conclusion. Tobacco is the most important known risk factor for the development of tongue cancer. The tumors in their early stage with complete excisional treatment have good prognosis. There is usually a history of long standing leukoplakia or erythroplakia. Ideally, imaging should take place prior to biopsy. Surgical procedures such as hemiglossectomy can cause functional defects in speech and swallowing. Difficulty in diagnosis results in inappropriate treatment.