A woman whose tongue was partially replaced by a piece of her thigh due to cancer is opening up about her journey and is going viral on TikTok because of it.
42-year-old Cameron Weeks Newsom—as mentioned in a Newsflare-citing report from the New York Post this week—suffered from severe pain following a 2013 diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma, which is the second-most common form of skin cancer.
Prior to the diagnosis, Newsom—who credits her family, including husband Anthony and son Hudson, with helping through a difficult time—noticed white spots that formed on her tongue. The spots initially tested negative for cancer, with additional spots showing up the following year. Those spots also tested negative, though Newsom’s symptoms continued to get worse. Ultimately, a specialist diagnosed Newsom with stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma.
While treatment proved successful, Newsom said she still needed to have the tumor removed by way of having a portion of her tongue cut out. As part of an hours-long procedure at the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Center, the removed part of Newsom’s tongue was replaced with muscle and skin that doctors took from her thigh.
According to Newsom, “The weirdest part of the whole experience was when I felt a rough texture on the thigh part of my tongue—and when I looked in the mirror it had started growing leg hair!”
As captured in a TikTok-shared video, Newsom was recently asked to elaborate on the surgery, as well as detail what could have happened had she not gone that route.
“No one told me or gave me the option to not have my tongue replaced,” Newsom said, as seen in the clip above. “They just said that I needed to have it in order to have a functional life. … I would only have that much of a tongue so I can’t imagine what my speech would be like without it.”
In recent days, Newsom has also fielded additional questions about the procedure, including from a TikTok user seeking advice on how best to support someone going through a similar experience.
“Anything that you can do to be by their side is so helpful,” Newsom said.
@camiflauge Reply to @kelogden ? original sound – Cameron Weeks Newsom