Tongue cancer care at Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic experts will work with you to determine which treatments will best meet your goals. Your options for tongue cancer treatment depend on the type of tongue cancer you have, its location and its stage. Your treatment team also considers your preferences and works to create a personalized plan that's most effective for you.

Tongue cancer treatments have the potential to impact your speaking and swallowing, so your care team strategically plans treatments that will allow you to maintain as much function as possible.

Your Mayo Clinic care team

At Mayo Clinic, head and neck cancer specialists lead teams of doctors in caring for people with tongue cancer. Head and neck cancer specialists include ear, nose and throat specialists (otolaryngologists) and oral and maxillofacial surgeons. They work with radiation oncologists, oncologists, pathologists and radiologists as a multidisciplinary team that provides comprehensive care. Other specialists are included as needed.

Advanced diagnosis and treatment

Mayo Clinic doctors have access to the latest tongue cancer treatment options, including:

  • Innovative surgical techniques. Mayo Clinic head and neck surgeons are skilled at using sentinel node biopsy, transoral robotic surgery, transoral laser microsurgery and other minimally invasive surgery procedures. These procedures may offer shorter recovery times and fewer complications than traditional surgery.
  • Highly targeted radiation technology. Radiation oncologists at Mayo Clinic have access to the latest technology that enables them to deliver radiation precisely, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and proton therapy. This ensures the cancer cells receive the most radiation and nearby healthy cells are spared.
  • Carefully selected systemic therapy. Systemic therapy options include chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Sophisticated tests on your cancer cells may reveal which systemic treatment is best for you.

Supportive services for your individual needs

At Mayo Clinic you have access to a variety of experts to help you cope and recover, including specialists in speech and swallowing, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and dietitians. Palliative care specialists work with you, your family and your other doctors to provide an extra layer of support that complements your ongoing care. The Nicotine Dependence Center can help if you want help to stop smoking.

Expertise and rankings

The world-class experts at Mayo Clinic offer an integrated team approach to cancer care. When you seek care at Mayo Clinic, you can expect:

  • Personalized treatment. At Mayo Clinic, ear, nose and throat specialists (otolaryngologists), radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, and rehabilitation medicine specialists work as a team to create a personalized treatment plan that takes into consideration all of your needs.
  • Experience you can trust. Each year, Mayo Clinic doctors care for more than 1,200 people with tongue cancer. This experience and expertise ensures that your care team is prepared with the knowledge and resources to provide you with exactly the care you need.
  • Nationally recognized expertise. Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center meets the strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center. These standards recognize scientific excellence and a multispecialty approach focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

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June 16, 2023

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