Most tongue cancers begin in the cells that cover the surfaces of your tongue. Tests to diagnose oral cancer include a physical exam, endoscopy, biopsy, and imaging tests.


  • White or red patches in your mouth
  • A mouth sore that won't heal
  • Bleeding in your mouth
  • Problems or pain with swallowing


Treatments may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Some patients have a combination of treatments.

Risk Factors

The risk of developing tongue cancer is higher if you are male, use tobacco, drink lots of alcohol, have HPV, or have a history of head or neck cancer.