Tongue cancer treatment at Mayo Clinic depends on your type and stage of cancer. Your team considers your needs to recommend the most appropriate treatment plan that will allow you to maintain as much speech and swallowing function as possible, and may include any combination of the following.
- Surgery. Whenever possible, Mayo surgeons use transoral robotic surgery, a minimally invasive technique to precisely remove tongue cancer, greatly reducing injury to surrounding healthy tissue and shortening recovery time compared with traditional surgery.
- Radiation therapy. At Mayo Clinic, you have access to the latest radiation technology, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy and image-guided radiation therapy.
- Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy may be offered, depending on cancer size, whether it has spread to lymph nodes or if it has invaded other adjacent organs.
- Targeted drug therapies. Mayo Clinic experts may use targeted drug therapies, such as monoclonal antibodies, which can interrupt the spread and growth of specific tongue cancer cells.
- Reconstructive surgery. When reconstructive surgery is necessary, experienced Mayo Clinic plastic and reconstructive surgeons, head and neck surgeons, and other specialists work together to restore physical appearance and function to the tongue and surrounding organs.
- Rehabilitation. If you have extensive surgery or radiation therapy, experienced Mayo specialists in dietetics, speech, swallowing, and physical and occupational therapy help you regain speech and swallowing function.
Read more about mouth cancer treatment.