Q. I have a white spot on my tongue. Could it be a developing cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Naveen Thomas
and medically reviewed by Dr.Sowmiya
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 26, 2017 and last reviewed on: Jan 11, 2022

Hi doctor,

I have a white spot on the tongue. It feels raised and rough. Please see the attached picture. What could it be?



Welcome to

I have seen the picture (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity). Do you have any symptoms related to it? It might be inflammation or an epithelial thickening, which will resolve within a week or two. Sometimes, it can be a precursor to a simple developing ulcer. Such lesions can be seen in many persons, but there is nothing to worry about.

Revert in case of further doubts.

Thank you doctor,

It hurts only in the morning. Could it be a developing cancer?



Welcome back to

  • No, not at all. There is no chance of it being in any form of cancer.
  • Keep it under observation for a month. If it does not heal or increase in size, then further tests can be advised.
  • It is just the starting of an ulcer, which is an erosion of the epithelium due to reaction to food substances, etc. which is very common. Ulceration of the tongue or other oral tissues can also be caused by the simple flu, but they all heal in a maximum period of two weeks.
  • Warm saline gargle is always good.

Thank you.

For further queries consult a dentist online -->

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