woman sticking out tongue
Unsplash | Joey Nicotra

Woman Grows Hairy Tongue After She Gets A Skin Transplant

Having a cancer diagnosis can be extremely scary for many people. There are tons of medical treatments available and a lot of trials that can be done to help fight cancer, but having the unknown lying around can be stressful and terrifying for many people who deal with the illness on a regular basis.

However, there is hope out there for some people, thanks to science and technology.

One TikTok user online shares her journey with cancer frequently.

david tennent saying "bit weird"
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Cameron Weeks Newsom was originally diagnosed with skin cancer in 2013—squamous cell carcinoma, the second-most common form of skin cancer. However, she was dealing with a huge amount of pain.

Then, she saw spots on her tongue.

tongue
Unsplash | Merch HÜSEY

She then began to notice that there were white spots on her tongue. At first, all of the biopsies of the spots came up negative. However, eventually, she was diagnosed with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma.

In order to save her tongue, they cut off 50% of it.

Newsom had the procedure completed at the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Center. The doctors there took 50% of Newsom's tongue and then replaced it with skin and muscle from her quad.

The tongue looks relatively similar minus the coloring.

Newsom said they don't usually take skin from your quad. “They usually take skin from your forearm, but I’m only 5-foot-2, so I didn’t have enough skin on my forearm to replace what I was having removed,” she told the New York Post.

Newsom also shared she needed it because it's over half her tongue.

Many online asked why Newsom needed the surgery, seeing as some people opt to split their tongues and have no problems. She shared that she thinks it's because over half her tongue was taken during her cancer surgery.

The process has been challenging.

“I can only taste on the right side of my tongue, which is the real side, and only chew on the right side because the left is attached to my gums,” Newsom said of tasting food.

And, it impacts her table manners.

“My manners are terrible because food sometimes just falls out my mouth, and when food gets stuck underneath my tongue it feels like having a small rock in your shoe," she added in regards to eating.

She did lose her ability to talk for a bit.

She shared she hadn't gone through speech therapy immediately, but because her mouth was in so much pain, she had a really hard time speaking at all—which, could be considered losing her speech.

One of the weirdest parts, she shared, was growing hair on her tongue.

She shared on TikTok that one day she felt like there was hair stuck in her mouth and she couldn't get it out. Turns out, she was growing leg hair on the "quad part" of her tongue.

It didn't happen that way immediately though.

At first, she hadn't grown any hair at all out of the new portion of her tongue. But, eventually, it happened and she was quite shocked that it could happen, seeing as it isn't attached to her leg anymore.

So far, it's been 9 years with no problems.

It's been 9 years that Newsom has had her new tongue, however, she has been doing well and was able to resume her regular lifestyle as a gymnastics coach and be very active.