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Signs You May Have Cancer Like Stanley Tucci Did

The actor was on a feeding tube for six months.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Actor Stanley Tucci is a national treasure, and one that seems to have always been here, in movies like The Devil Wears Prada and the Hunger Games, shows like Murder One and Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy and in web videos like, well, the one where he charmingly mixes drinks. That's why it was somewhat startling when, married to Felicity Blunt (Emily's sister), and the father of 5 children, Tucci revealed to Vera magazine that he had cancer three years back, on his tongue. Read on for five signs you may have tongue cancer—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.


Tucci Had a Tumor at the Base of His Tongue

Stanley Tucci

Tucci told Vera that "three years ago he was diagnosed with a tumour at the base of his tongue." "It was too big to operate, so they had to do high-dose radiation and chemo," he says. "I'd vowed I'd never do anything like that, because my first wife died of cancer, and to watch her go through those treatments for years was horrible." "The kids were great, but it was hard for them," he says. "I had a feeding tube for six months. I could barely make it to the twins' highschool graduation." "[Cancer] makes you more afraid and less afraid at the same time. I feel much older than I did before I was sick. But you still want to get ahead and get things done."

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Sign of Oral Tongue Cancer

man checking out tongue health problem mirror

"You may have a lump on the side of your tongue that touches the teeth," say the experts at Cedars-Sinai. "The lump often looks like an ulcer and is grayish-pink to red. The lump bleeds easily if bitten or touched." 

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Sign of Base of Tongue Cancer

Doctor checking woman throat with the medical stick

If you have "base of tongue cancer," "the tumor is often difficult to see in the early stages, so it is usually diagnosed when it is larger. There are few symptoms in the early stages. In later stages, the cancer may cause pain, a sense of fullness in the throat, difficulty swallowing, the feeling of a lump in the neck or throat, voice changes or ear pain."

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You May Also Have Mouth Cancer


"Mouth cancer refers to cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth (oral cavity). Mouth cancer can occur on the:

  • Lips
  • Gums
  • Tongue
  • Inner lining of the cheeks
  • Roof of the mouth
  • Floor of the mouth (under the tongue)

Cancer that occurs on the inside of the mouth is sometimes called oral cancer or oral cavity cancer," says the Mayo Clinic. "Mouth cancer is one of several types of cancers grouped in a category called head and neck cancers. Mouth cancer and other head and neck cancers are often treated similarly."

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When to See a Doctor

female doctor or nurse wearing face protective medical mask for protection from virus disease with computer and clipboard calling on phone at hospital

"Make an appointment with your doctor or dentist if you have any persistent signs and symptoms that bother you and last more than two weeks. Your doctor will likely investigate other more common causes for your signs and symptoms first, such as an infection," says the Mayo Clinic. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek
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