Tongue cancer secondary prevention

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Simrat Sarai, M.D. [2] Mohammed Abdelwahed M.D[3]


Secondary prevention strategies following tongue cancer include monthly follow-ups for the first 12-18 months following therapy. Drugs such as synthetic retinoids, non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs, EGFR inhibition, and human papilloma virus related oropharyngeal carcinoma vaccine can be used as a secondary chemopreventive agents.

Secondary Prevention

  • Postoperative patients are monitored monthly for the first 12-18 months.
  • In patients who undergo nonsurgical treatment, follow-up diagnostic imaging studies are recommended in the first 6 months.

Synthetic retinoids

Non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs

EGFR inhibition 

Human papilloma virus related oropharyngeal carcinoma vaccine


  1. Bairati I, Meyer F, Gélinas M, Fortin A, Nabid A, Brochet F; et al. (2005). "A randomized trial of antioxidant vitamins to prevent second primary cancers in head and neck cancer patients". J Natl Cancer Inst. 97 (7): 481–8. doi:10.1093/jnci/dji095. PMID 15812073.
  2. Soriano AF, Helfrich B, Chan DC, Heasley LE, Bunn PA, Chou TC (1999). "Synergistic effects of new chemopreventive agents and conventional cytotoxic agents against human lung cancer cell lines". Cancer Res. 59 (24): 6178–84. PMID 10626810.
  3. Lingen MW, Polverini PJ, Bouck NP (1998). "Retinoic acid and interferon alpha act synergistically as antiangiogenic and antitumor agents against human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma". Cancer Res. 58 (23): 5551–8. PMID 9850093.
  4. Klijn JG, Berns PM, Schmitz PI, Foekens JA (1992). "The clinical significance of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) in human breast cancer: a review on 5232 patients". Endocr Rev. 13 (1): 3–17. doi:10.1210/edrv-13-1-3. PMID 1313356.
  5. Rampias T, Sasaki C, Psyrri A (2014). "Molecular mechanisms of HPV induced carcinogenesis in head and neck". Oral Oncol. 50 (5): 356–63. doi:10.1016/j.oraloncology.2013.07.011. PMID 23953776.