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Role of Brachytherapy in Treatment of Oral Tongue Cancer

The tongue may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the body’s major organs. But like other organs, it is also susceptible to cancer. There are various types of cancer, each with its own signs and symptoms, and each can vary in severity depending on the aggressiveness of cancer.

During the initial stages of cancer, there may not be any symptoms. This is one of the reasons why it is important to get tested as early as possible when you realise any abnormalities in the tongue. Doctors say that most cancers that develop in the tongue can be cured. The earlier it is detected, the better the chances of getting treated. However, the survival rate is dangerously low when cancer is diagnosed at a later stage. Let’s have a look at what oral cancer is, its symptoms and the role of Brachytherapy in oral tongue cancer treatment.

What Is Oral Tongue Cancer?

Oral tongue cancer, also known as malignant epithelial tumour, is a tumour that arises from the epithelial cells on the surface of the tongue. Oral cancer affects the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat.


  • Numbness
  • Sores
  • Lumps
  • Pain and difficulty in eating and chewing.
  • A lump or thickening on the lip, gum, or other parts of the mouth
  • Weakness in the face, cheek, or tongue
  • A change in the way you bite
  • Blocked or slowed-down saliva flow
  • Change in the voice
  • Pain in the ear or jaw


Oral cancer can be difficult to detect because it does not usually cause pain or other symptoms in the early stages. It can be prevented by avoiding smoking and chewing tobacco, regular oral examination by a dentist, following a good diet, and not drinking alcohol excessively.

Treatments for oral cancer include surgery, radiation, brachytherapy, and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is performed only in difficult cases. Out of many available treatments, brachytherapy is widely used and the most preferred type of therapy for the treatment of oral tongue cancer.

Brachytherapy: A Type of Radiation Therapy for Oral Cancer

Brachytherapy (BT) is a type of radiation therapy in India that is given to a patient when other forms of radiation therapies are ineffective. The radiation is sent directly to the cancer area by delivering it to the tumour site, so its normal tissue radiation dose is lower than other radiation treatments. This form of therapy is commonly used because it is the only option available in most situations.

There are different ways to use brachytherapy, depending on the cancer being treated. For example, in prostate cancer treatment, radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate gland, where the radiation cannot spread outside that area. And, in treatment for oral tongue cancer, the radiation is sent only to the tumour area using a needle to inject the radiation.


Earlier, low BT was used at an early stage of oral tongue cancer. Now, with more advanced treatments, high BT is used along with other treatments for oral tongue cancer.

It is important to get brachytherapy performed by qualified and experienced radiation oncologists or best oncologists in India to ensure the most beneficial treatment and the best possible outcomes. We hope the above information will help you learn and spread awareness of oral tongue cancer and Brachytherapy treatment.

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