Tongue Cancer Prevention

What are the best methods of tongue cancer prevention?

Not all cases of tongue cancer can be prevented, because some are caused by factors such as age, gender and family history, which cannot be controlled. However, avoiding known risk factors is the best method of tongue cancer prevention. These include the use of tobacco and excessive use of alcohol, which are the most common causes of tongue cancer. Even if you have been diagnosed with tongue cancer in the past the best way to prevent a second cancer is to quit tobacco and/or drinking for good. While quitting does not guarantee that you will never develop tongue cancer, it greatly reduces your risk.

For more information on how to quit tobacco visit these links:

Perform Self Exams to Help Prevent Tongue Cancer

Regularly perform self-exams on your mouth to catch possible problem spots on your tongue in their early stages. Visually inspect your tongue and then feel it for any unusual sores or lumps. If you ever notice a change and it persists for more than two weeks go to a dentist or doctor and have them do a more thorough examination.

Regularly visit the doctor and dentist for tongue cancer prevention

It is recommended that you have regular checkups with you doctor and dentist not only for tongue cancer prevention, but for your overall health. Tongue cancer screening is not standard procedure for a health assessment so be sure to ask you doctor or dentist to take a look and check for any warning signs, especially if you are considered at risk for tongue cancer.

See our list of possible Causes of Tongue Cancer to know if you are at risk.

Treat pre-cancerous spots for throat cancer prevention

Another important factor of tongue cancer prevention is to treat any pre-cancerous growths found by a doctor or dentist as soon as possible. The longer you wait to treat them the more likely they are to develop into cancer and spread to other areas of your body.

The two most common types of pre-cancerous conditions on the tongue are called leukoplakia and erythroplakia and they can usually be easily spotted by a dentist or dental hygienist. While these spots start off harmless and do not initially spread to any other part of the body, they exhibit characteristics that could develop into cancer. Leukoplakia is usually a white or grayish patch and erythroplakia is a red patch. According to the American Cancer Society about 1 out of every 5 cases of leukoplakia is cancerous or will develop into cancer if not treated. Erythroplakia is less common, but more serious. The majority of found erythroplakia cases are cancerous or will develop into it. After having pre-cancerous spots removed it is important that you have regular check ups with a dentist or doctor to monitor your tongue and check for a recurrence of pre-cancerous spots.

Want more information on tongue cancer and tongue cancer prevention?

Our pages dedicated to multiple areas of tongue cancer will be a great place to begin learning more about the disease. Also, our Tongue Cancer Resources page can direct you to other sites with more information on tongue cancer and tongue cancer prevention.

Tongue Cancer

Tongue Cancer Symptoms

Tongue Cancer Causes

Tongue Cancer Treatment

Tongue Cancer Pictures

Tongue Cancer Resources


Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer. American Cancer Society. Accessed January 4, 2012.

What you need to know about oral cancer. National Cancer Institute. Accessed January 8, 2012.

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    All content on this site is for general information purposes only. It is not and should not be considered medical advice or used in place of the advice of a medical professional. Always seek the advice of a doctor or other professional for any medical condition.