WHEN DOES A PATIENT REQUIRE A BIOPSY?
A biopsy is prescribed when a dentist or medical professional uncovers potential signs of oral cancer in your mouth or throat or a lesion that does not belong in the mouth and jaws. When this occurs, Dr. McLelland can perform the biopsy.
He will first numb the area in question with a local anesthetic. If you feel nervous or apprehensive about the procedure, Dr. McLelland may also offer sedation. Then, Dr. McLelland will gently remove a small portion of tissue. The tissue will then be examined under a microscope.
If the biopsy reveals the presence of oral cancer, you may need to undergo further tests or procedures to assess the type and stage of cancer present. From there, your doctor can discuss your treatment options. If you have any questions or concerns about the biopsy process, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. McLelland today.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ORAL CANCER?
Oral cancer has a high mortality rate, with 50% of patients succumbing to the disease within five years of being diagnosed. One of the main factors behind this morality rate is late diagnosis. Few adults undergo a yearly oral cancer screening, typically offered by most dentists as part of a routine checkup.
By the time the oral cancer is uncovered and a biopsy conducted, the disease may have already progressed to the later stages. We urge our patients to receive an oral cancer screening at least once year and to become familiar with the common symptoms of oral cancer, including:
- Sores or lesions in the mouth that don’t heal after 14 days
- Hoarseness or unexplained numbness
- Red and white splotches inside the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing or eating
- Risk factors for oral cancer include tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, and viral infections such as HPV. However, even if you don’t smoke or drink, you should still undergo regular screenings.