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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Spots on tongue. Geographical tongue or tongue cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Gaurang Krishna


Practicing since :2006

Answered : 520 Questions

Posted on Fri, 25 May 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Are these sores geographical tongue :

About 2 weeks ago my husband noticed some spots on the side and top of his tongue. They seemed to have gone away then the one on top came back just a few days later pretty much in the same spot. Yesterday another one poped up on the border of his tongue. It seemed to get big fast. It looks like a bare spot with a white border but it not as red as the top spot. Could this be geographical tongue or something more serious like tongue cancer? He did visit the dentist and they feel it's GT. They used the veliscope which did come back a little darker in the spots. They told him to come back in two weeks and they will reevaluate. I am just really worried this could be tongue cancer bc he has chewed for 15 years. He is planning on quitting the first of the year. Thanks for your quick reply.

Answered by Dr. Gaurang Krishna 9 hours later
Thanks for the query and a good quality picture.

This is not geographic tongue. I am pretty sure on that. It looks like either Lichen planus of the tongue or mucosal Discoid Lupus (DLE).

I would suggest that you get the lesion biopsied by a dermatologist or an ENT surgeon. Dentists are the best care-giver for this problem.

The chance of leukoplakia or tongue cancer is low but it can be ruled out only after a biopsy.

See a competent dermatologist.

I hope I have answered your query.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli

The User accepted the expert's answer

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