2004 Volume 43 Issue 8 Pages 727-730
Metastasis to the tongue seldom occurs, and lingual metastasis as an initial sign of cancer occurs even less frequently. We report a case of lung cancer in which the patient’s initial symptom was related to the tongue metastasis. A 63-year-old man had a submucosal tumor on the left posterolateral aspect of the tongue and a biopsy specimen of the tongue tumor showed poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma. A chest X-ray showed a mass in the right lung and cytological examination of the specimen obtained by bronchial brushing showed poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma, whose appearance was similar to that of the tongue. Based on these findings, the tongue lesion was diagnosed a metastatic tumor from the lung cancer. The patient received radiation therapy combined with systemic chemotherapy, however, he died 5 months after the diagnosis of lung cancer. An autopsy revealed a lung cancer in the right lower lobe with metastatic tumors in the tongue, right middle lobe, left upper lobe, liver, adrenal gland, pericardium, heart, and subcutaneous tissues. No other possible primary cancer that may have been the cause of the metastases was identified.