Husband diagnosed this week with tongue cancer

  • 18 replies
  • 78 subscribers

New to all this. Ny husband just diagnosed this week with tongue cancer. Had lymph node biopsy on Wednesday and to have tongue biopsy on Monday. I know early days but both terrified. Have been told intensive treatment,radio and chemo therapy for 6 weeks. Been told surgery is no longer recommended treatment for this type of tongue tumour . Any one else got any experience similar. ?

  • Hi welcome, sorry to hear about your husband.

    Regarding surgery I suspect that may depend on the size and the position of the tumour. Surgery is used for small and or tumours at the front/side of the tongue. However further back surgery would not be so likely.

    (I had surgery only for a tumour on the side of my tongue earlier this year)

  • I had exactly the same as your husband. 9 months on from treatment I’m fine and it’s gone. It’s a hard road but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Take it a day at a time. 
    any other questions I’m happy to answer and there are some great people here who are very generous with their time 

    lots of luck


  • Hi there, I am sorry you have had this news. Do you know whether it is tongue specific of whether it’s HPV negative or positive.  They looked at surgery for me but the ‘margins’ weren’t high enough aka the space around it when they cut away. I ended up with them zapping the whole lot (back of tongue and throat and two lymph nodes) with 35 sessions of radio and 2 x chemo. Treatment finished a month ago and I am now trying to recover.  If mine is similar to yours, I can tell you more. 
    all the best


  • Hi Brisbane1, welcome to the group, sorry you have had to join. RT and chemo for six weeks, is the usual treatment for these types of cancers. It's not easy, but very doable, and comes with very high rates of cure. There are many of us on here who have had the same, with a good outcome. Once all the testing is done and you get his treatment plan, you will both feel better about it all. Don't feel alone we are all here to answer any questions you have.


    • Thank you so much. Its reassuring to hear from people who have been here. 
    1. Thank you. Hopefully we ll can be mire specific once biopscome back 
  • Thank you it's good to have people who can relate to talk to. Means a lot.

  • Been told surgery is no longer recommended treatment for this type of tongue tumour . Any one else got any experience similar. ?

    I had a cancer at the base of my tongue. HPV positive ( which responds very well to RT) inoperable but 6 weeks radiotherapy fixed me and I’m alive and kicking the hell out of retirement five years later. 


    Base of tongue cancer. T2N0M0 6 weeks Radiotherapy finished January 2019

    I wrote a blog about my cancer. just click on the link below 

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

    Community Champion badge
  • Thank you this is just what we need to hear . Everything seems so negative but this gives us so much hope. 

  •  Hi Brisbane1

    Dont worry about surgery not being an option many of us had only chemo and radiation as out tumours were too big or too widespread mine was T4 right tonsil spread to base of tongue activity in left tonsil plus several lymphs in neck.My team told me treatment without surgery still had over 90% success rate (HPV related).

    Treatment is tough but doable the worst part is where you both are now ….the waiting once it starts the anxieties seem to lessen x

    Keep those anxious brains busy watch boxsets ,stay off google its not helpful.

    Stay with the group and ask any questions you have x