Oral Cancer Exam & Biopsy Service
Oral Cancer Exam
According to the American Cancer Society, over 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year, with over 7000 of these cases resulting in the death of the patient. Fortunately, oral cancer can be diagnosed with an annual cancer exam provided by Dr. Noraian. It is not unusual for Dr. Noraian to check for cancerous changes at any visit. If caught early, oral cancer can be effectively treated.
Oral cancer is a pathologic process, which begins by producing no symptoms making it hard to recognize without an exam. There are many types of oral cancer, including teratoma, adenocarcinoma and melanoma. The most common form of oral cancer is malignant squamous cell carcinoma, which typically originates in the lip and mouth tissue. There are many other places in which oral cancers occur, including: the tongue, salivary glands, throat, gums, and face.
What to Expect from Oral Cancer Exam
The oral cancer examination is completely painless. Dr. Noraian will look for abnormalities and feel the face, glands, and neck for unusual bumps. Some of the signs that will be investigated are red patches and sores. Red patches on the floor of the mouth, or the front of the tongue, and bleeding sores which fail to heal easily may be indicative of cancerous changes. Leukoplakia is a hardened white or gray, slightly raised lesion that can appear inside the mouth, and may be cancerous. Signs of these will be examined as well. Finally, soreness, lumps or the general thickening of tissue anywhere in the throat or mouth can signal pathologic signs, and will be examined.
If abnormalities, lesions, lumps, or leukoplakia are apparent, Dr. Noraian will implement a treatment plan that is right for you. Treatment options vary according to the precise diagnosis, but may include: excision, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
It is also important to note that over 75% of oral cancers are linked with avoidable behaviors such as smoking, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption. Dr. Noraian can provide you with literature and options about quitting dangerous behaviors such as tobacco use.
The advantage of an oral cancer examination allows Dr. Noraian to inspect the mouth and face to see if there is a normal appearance. When the appearance of a lesion is other than anticipated, Dr. Noraian may choose to monitor the lesion for a specific period of time or need to take a sample or remove the lesion for further investigation. This process is known as a biopsy and is not diagnostic by itself. Depending on what needs to be done, Dr. Noraian will review the options and methods on how to proceed when he finds something out of the ordinary. Just because something appears other than expected does not mean it is cancerous. Getting a sample may be the only way to identify it if it does not go away on its own. Certain types of findings may require the assistance of other specialists and Dr. Noraian will review that option with you as indicated.
Surgical Pathology Reports
Simply removing some unusual tissue is not sufficient for Dr. Noraian. So when a suspicious lesion appears that requires a biopsy Dr. Noraian will forward the sample to an Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologist for review. The pathologist will put the sample through rigorous testing to help provide a more definitive diagnosis and allow Dr. Noraian to provide recommendations if additional treatment or follow-up is indicated.