Tongue cancer is a common and serious type of mouth cancer (oral cancer). Tongue cancer usually begins in the squamous cells that cover the surface of the tongue. When cancer forms in the front two-thirds of the tongue, it's classified as a type of oral cancer. Cancer that develops in the back third of the tongue is considered a form of throat (oropharyngeal) cancer.
When identified early, tongue cancer is highly curable. Oral cancers are about twice as common in men as in women. Tobacco, heavy alcohol use and exposure to increase the risk of oral cancers.
Why choose Mayo Clinic for tongue cancer
- Expertise and teamwork. Your care will be directed by ear, nose and throat (ENT) experts specializing in head and neck cancers who coordinate your multispecialty team. Team members may include experts in radiation oncology, medical oncology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation therapies, and other specialties as needed.
- Latest treatments, including minimally invasive techniques. At Mayo Clinic, your doctors use the latest technology, such as , to treat your tongue cancer. Mayo surgeons have developed a robotic surgical approach to tumor removal that offers better access to tongue cancers, with fewer adverse side effects and better quality of life compared with standard surgical approaches. Mayo Clinic is one of the few medical centers in the United States with extensive experience in using , when appropriate, to treat tongue cancer.
- Comprehensive cancer center.Meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, recognizing scientific excellence and a multispecialty approach focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.
Answers you can trust
we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.
Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.
Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.