Tongue cancers are oral cancers that are differentiated by their location in the mouth and on the tongue. If the cancer is on the forward portion of the tongue, it is known as a squamous cell cancer of the oral tongue. If the cancer is located towards the rear third of the tongue, it is known as a squamous cell cancer at the base of the tongue.
The characteristics of these two cancers are quite distinct, and reflect the differences in their origins. The difference in origins is also the reason that the treatment of these two forms of tongue cancer is quite different. Oral cancers are relatively rare, representing only about three percent of all cancers.