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View of squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue

View of squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue

M131/0191

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Credit

DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Tongue cancer. View of a patient's mouth showing a malignant tumour (squamous cell carcinoma) on the surface under the tongue. A biopsy of tissue was taken to confirm this diagnosis; a white suture from the biopsy is visible. This highly malignant cancer, the most serious type of mouth cancer because of its rapid spread, occurs on the surface epithelium. An ulcer with raised edges, or a white patch of thickened tissue (leucoplakia) may be the first sign. Usually it is painless until the cancer is advanced. It can spread to gums, the lower jaw, lymph nodes, and the neck. Treatment may include radiotherapy, drugs and surgery, but survival from advanced tongue cancer is low.

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