Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the base of the tongue is a type of cancer that develops in the cells of the tongue. It is thought to be caused by long-term exposure to tobacco and alcohol use, as well as certain viruses, such as the human papilloma virus (HPV).
SCC of the base of the tongue is typically diagnosed through a physical exam, endoscopy, and biopsy. An endoscopy allows the doctor to see the inside of the throat to look for any suspicious areas. A biopsy is then taken to confirm the diagnosis and determine the type of cancer.
Other potential causes of a lump or sore on the base of the tongue include benign tumors, such as hemangiomas, or infections, such as tonsillitis or thrush.
Treatment for SCC of the base of the tongue may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. The type of treatment chosen will depend on the size and stage of the cancer, as well as other factors.
The prognosis for SCC of the base of the tongue depends on the size and stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis, as well as the person’s overall health. Generally, the earlier the cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the prognosis.