This is how a small ‘white spot’ on the tongue can turn into deadly cancer (VIDEO)

This is how a small ‘white spot’ on the tongue can turn into deadly cancer (VIDEO)
This is how a small ‘white spot’ on the tongue can turn into deadly cancer (VIDEO)

Vigilance is required. The symptoms of tongue cancer can often be confused with canker sores, hence the need to urgently consult a doctor when any doubt remains. So, to alert the population, a timelapse, generated by Dr. Christopher Chang and posted on the Internet, showed how cancer can develop subtly over the years, starting with a small white spot called leukoplakia.

Concretely, these white spots located on the mouth or on the tongue are irregularly shaped, raised and painless and can be caused by a number of things, such as a bite, burning of the tongue, anemia, chronic exposure to irritants such as smoking and even scarlet fever (infectious disease of children). But contrary to popular belief, certain tasks are destined to remain: around 10% of cases of leukoplakia transform into cancer. Faced with this situation, health authorities therefore recommend consulting a general practitioner or a dentist if the white spot has not disappeared after two weeks.

As the video shows, over time, and in the worst cases, the tongue stain changes color and darkens to a gray-purple hue. By the eighth year, it turns a dark pink color and reaches the stage of erythroplasia. Note that erythroplasia is not necessarily synonymous with cancer, but this precancerous condition is highly likely to progress. According to Dr. Chang, about 50% of cases of erythroplasia develop into cancer.

By the twelfth year, the spot turns into a small purple ball that Dr. Chang says looks like stage 1 tongue cancer. And if this lump is left unattended, it can progress to stage 2 cancer after a year, said the otolaryngologist. Finally, at the fourteenth year, the spot becomes increasingly dark and swollen, a phenomenon synonymous with stage 3 cancerous tumor.

ALSO READ >> Tongue cancer: can you die from it?

Although it is not known exactly what causes tongue cancer, certain things can increase your chances of developing it such as smoking or chewing tobacco; drinking large amounts of alcohol or infection with human papillomavirus (HPV).

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