An Oral Cancer Biopsy Can Help You Receive Prompt, Specialized Care

The Oral Cancer Foundation reports that nearly 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. As with any form of cancer, the survival rate for oral cancer is highest among those who receive treatment in the earliest stages of the disease. However, oral cancer often does not present symptoms in the early stages, making regular screenings essential. Many general dentists include oral cancer screenings with every six-month checkup. If a screening reveals an unusual lesion, Dr. Michael A. Pikos and his team can perform an oral cancer biopsy at their Tampa, FL, (Tampa Bay Area Florida Offices) practice. To schedule an appointment, contact our office today.

Oral Cancer: Signs and Risk Factors

Oral cancer can occur on the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, sinuses, pharynx, and throat. Although oral cancer does not always present obvious signs, indications of cancerous or precancerous tissue can include:

  • Lumps, rough spots, or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other oral tissues
  • Red or white patches
  • Chronic sores
  • A sore throat that does not go away
  • Numbness in or around the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or moving the tongue

Meanwhile, several factors can increase a patient’s risk of developing oral cancer:

  • Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • A previous oral cancer diagnosis
  • Significant exposure to ultraviolet light
  • HPV (human papilloma virus)

Oral Cancer Screenings: The Importance of Early Detection

It cannot be overstated that although the risk factors may not apply to you, and you may not be experiencing any outward signs of oral cancer, it is still very important to undergo regular screenings.

During an oral cancer screening, the dentist will inspect the inside of your mouth for any abnormal tissue that could indicate cancerous or precancerous conditions. This process often involves the use of a tool such as a VELscope®, which uses a special blue light to reveal suspicious lesions that a visual inspection alone often cannot detect. If the dentist finds any lesions, he or she may recommend a biopsy. This involves removing a small sample of the tissue for testing by a pathologist. Our doctors can provide a thorough and accurate biopsy to determine if these lesions are a cause for concern, and can coordinate further analysis by a specialist.

Schedule an Appointment

Oral cancer is a serious diagnosis, but it can be overcome when it is detected in its earliest stages. If you are not currently undergoing oral cancer screenings as part of your regular six-month dental checkups, you owe it to yourself to seek treatment from a practice that provides this service. Meanwhile, if a screening reveals a suspicious lesion, the team at Coastal Jaw Surgery can perform a biopsy to determine if further tests are necessary, and place you in touch with the specialists necessary to provide the prompt, effective care you deserve.

To learn more, please call us today at 1-800-NEW-LOOK (Outside Florida: 727-877-0011) to schedule your consultation at our Palm Harbor, Trinity, or Spring Hill location.