Cancer occuring in the dorsum of the tongue is very rare. Several reports indicate that the rate of cancer occurrence in the dorsal tongue ranges from 2.8% to 7.2 % of all tongue cancer.
In our clinic, there has been only one case of dorsal tongue cancer among 89 cases of tongue cancer from 1979 to 1992.
The patient was a 68-year-old male who visited our clinic with a chief complaint of a tumor mass in the left dorsum of the tongue in November 1983.
The tumor was a round, circumscribed, raised, and centrally depressed mass with a red surface. It was 15 mm in diameter and elastic but firm in consistency.
Macroscopically, the tumor was doughnut-shaped.
Pathologically, the tumor was diagnosed to be a squamous cell carcinoma.
He was treated by intraoral electron therapy, one time (10 Gy) per week. The total dose amounted to 40 Gy. Clinically and pathologically, the tumor disappeared at that time.
Nine years after intraoral electron therapy, he is still alive without primary recurrence or distant metastasis.