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Oral Cancer

Is a Swollen Tongue a Symptom of Oral Cancer?

10/31/2007

Question:

I am a 22 year old female, and I have had the feeling of a swollen tongue for about a month. I have had blood tests on it, I have been sent to an allergist to see if it was allergy related and it was not, and I have an MRI scheduled in two days. It is the right side of my tongue that is giving me problems, my right ear feels full of fluid at all times, the right side of my throat feels sore even though the doctor feels no swollen lymph nodes or glands. Also, a few days ago my lips and hands went numb for hours. My grandfather died from oral cancer, so of course this is a worry of mine. I am not a regular smoker as he was, but I have smoked cigarettes before. The right side of my tongue is sore, also. Please give me a tad bit of sanity while I have to wait a few days for my MRI.

Answer:

It is really not clear what could be the cause of this. Persistent symptoms that do not resolve however, should be evaluated by an ear, nose and throat physician (ENT).

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Response by:

Amit  Agrawal, MD Amit Agrawal, MD
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University