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Diagnostic considerations of tongue-base malignancies

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Forty-two patients with malignancies localized to the base of the tongue were treated at Sahlgrenska Hospital between 1971 and 1980. These patients were re-analyzed with respect to symptomatology and clinical outcome. Pain in the mouth, throat, and ears as well as swallowing difficulties were the most frequent overt symptoms of disease. In general, patients experienced symptoms for at least 3 months before a positive tumor diagnosis was made. In all, 75% of the patients were found to have large tumors which extended beyond the base of the tongue. Most of the patients were treated with irradiation. The overall 3-year survival rate was 28%, while individual patient survival was related to the size of the primary tumor and to the occurrence of lymph node metastases. Careful attention to symptomatology may reduce delays in establishing an accurate diagnosis and consequently improve the prognosis for patients with these cancers.

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Correspondence to Pontus Lindeman.

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Lindeman, P., Eggertsson, S., Edström, S. et al. Diagnostic considerations of tongue-base malignancies. Arch Otorhinolaryngol 242, 203–207 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00454422

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Key words

  • Tongue cancer
  • Symptoms
  • Stage
  • Prognosis