When noticed a swelling in tongue, the doctors first said that it might be the symptoms of tongue cancer.

After 30 years of living with a fish bone stuck to his tongue Kerala man finally gets relief
news Medical Monday, March 06, 2017 - 10:29

A 4cm long fish bone was removed from a man’s tongue at a hospital in Kochi, 30 years after it first lodged there.

Mathai, 61, who was working in Abu Dhabi, had come to Kerala for a holiday. When he noticed a swelling in his tongue, the doctors first said that it might be the symptoms of tongue cancer.

Over the years, Mathai had consulted different doctors with the problem and all gave him antibiotics which provided temporary relief. This time he was able to solve the issue as the doctors at Kochi Lake shore hospital found that it was a fish bone in his tongue that was causing problems.

Mathai was advised by doctors at the hospital to go for a biopsy in the beginning, but the results came negative. Even an MRI scan he took did not reveal the bone in his tongue. Later, a team headed by Dr Shawn T Joseph, Consultant Head and Neck Surgical Oncologist, VPS Lakeshore conducted a surgery on his tongue and found the bone.

In a report by The Times of India, the doctor said that there were chances the patient could have developed cancer as a result of the chronic trauma, if the bone had remained lodged in the tongue.

“Thirty years ago, when he was eating fish curry with rice at a restaurant in Saudi Arabia in 1988, a fish bone got stuck in his tongue. Since then, sometimes he had swelling in the tongue, which subsided with antibiotics in a few days. But this was the first time that he had severe pain and couldn't drink or eat,” Mathai's wife Aniamma told ToI. She added that the family was relieved after knowing that it was a bone and not cancer.

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