The oncology nurse is assessing a client diagnosed with cancer of the tongue. Upon examination, which signs and symptoms would the nurse expect to find?

Select all that apply.
  1. weight gain
  2. well-fitting dentures
  3. a black, hairy tongue
  4. difficulty swallowing
  5. a sore that bleeds or does not heal
  6. difficulty chewing or pain with chewing
Numbers 4, 5, and 6 are correct.
Rationale: Cancer of the tongue causes difficulty swallowing due to enlarged lymph nodes in the neck. Sores that bleed or do not heal over time are another sign of tongue cancer. Chewing may be difficult or painful for clients with cancer of the tongue. Weight loss, not weight gain, can occur due to difficulty chewing and swallowing. Poor-fitting dentures or loose teeth are another sign. A black, hairy tongue is caused by overgrowth of yeast and bacteria and is a benign condition unrelated to cancer of the tongue.