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What Happens During an Oral Cancer Biopsy?

Posted on 11/10/2019 by Scott Redlinger
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Biopsy?Most often cancer is found during routine dental exams. Since it does not show any symptoms in the beginning stages, it is particularly important to pay attention to the mouth. If anything is out of the ordinary it is a good idea to schedule an exam and get a second opinion.

If a tumor or growth is found, it may be recommended to get a biopsy on it. An oral cancer biopsy is a test to see if a tumor found in the mouth or throat is cancerous. Only a biopsy can confirm or deny whether there are cancerous cells present. There are a few types of biopsies for diagnosing oral cancers and here are some examples.

Exfoliative Cytology

It is a pain-free, quick, and non-invasive way to test for cancer. The suspected area is scraped, and the cells are collected. They are then placed on a glass slide and stained with dye. Once viewed under a microscope, they are determined to be regular or irregular. If the latter, then a more in-depth biopsy is ordered.

Incisional Biopsy

During this type of biopsy, a small piece is incised from the offending area. If it is easily accessible it can be done in the doctor's office. If hard to reach it may be necessary to put under anesthetic in an operating room. Sometimes the doctor may have to perform an excisional biopsy, which removes all the suspected tissue as well as healthy tissue. In which case stitches may have to be used.

The sample is then sent to a lab to determine what it is made up of. Once at the lab the samples will undergo rigorous testing to determine what type of cancer is present. After the presence of cancer is confirmed, treatment options can be discussed. If you suspect you may have oral cancer or if it runs in your family call us today to schedule your consultation.
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Scott M. Redlinger, DMD, MD

(775) 430-5355

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