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Medical Edge: Team of doctors rebuilds tongue

Updated: Friday, October 24 2014, 04:38 PM EDT
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- A local woman encourages others to sign up for free screenings in June and July for head and neck cancer at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
When you first meet Marie Lapage her passion is evident.  She loves to read to kids but can't right now; not yet anyway.  Nine months ago Marie had her tongue removed.

She says, "I have many children say, 'Why can't you talk?' And then I ask them and they say okay!"

Marie let Local in on that surgery where a team led by Doctor Yash Patil took out her tongue.  They were then able to rebuild it.

When asked if cancer of the tongue is common, Dr. Yash Patil, a head and neck cancer surgeon at UC Medical Center, said, "Oral cancer is a very common form of cancer, and the most common type of cancer of the head and neck.  And she basically had her entire tongue removed for treatment of that cancer."

Dr. Patil explains how he rebuilt Marie's tongue, "Rebuilding a tongue, as it is currently done today with the techniques that we have, involves removing tissue from another part of the body."
In Maria's case that tissue was taken from her back.  It was then reshaped so she could speak and swallow.  She continues to share her first love of reading and words with kids.  Sometimes now however, as with any author, she just has to write the words down on paper.

The first free screening for head and neck cancer is Thursday, June 19th at the UC Barrett Cancer Center from 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m.

For more information or an appointment you can call 513- 475- 8400.
The second date is July 15th, call the above number for those details.

Follow Liz Bonis on Twitter @lbonis1 and LIKE her on Facebook

Medical Edge: Team of doctors rebuilds tongue

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