Diagnosing Tongue Cancer

This information is useful for adults and older adults
tongue cancer
Why Yale?
  • We are one of just a handful of medical centers with pathologists who specialize in diagnosing head and neck cancers.
  • Our rapid pathology service helps patients get diagnosed faster, which means quicker access to life-saving treatment.
  • Yale Medicine's pathologists diagnose a high volume of complex cases of head and neck cancer, which gives us a higher level of expertise.

Oral cancer, including cancer of the tongue, is more common and more dangerous than many people realize. Early signs are often first found during a routine dental exam, since people with tongue cancer may experience few symptoms.

"A person with tongue cancer would typically have no pain and may have a painless ulcer on the side of the tongue," says Manju Prasad, MD, professor of pathology at Yale School of Medicine and director of Head, Neck & Endocrine Pathology at Yale Medicine. Nationally, Yale Medicine is one the few academic medical centers with a dedicated pathology unit focused on cancers of the head and neck.