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Oral Pathology in Cambridge

On average, one person dies from oral cancer every hour, and half of patients won’t go on to survive five years past their original diagnosis. This disease is destructive on its own, but what adds to high numbers is that most cases aren’t diagnosed until they reach advanced stages. If oral cancer is caught early on, there’s a high rate of successful treatment. Here at Muskingum Valley Oral Surgery, Dr. Jeff Lee and his team are dedicated to locating this condition as soon as possible through oral screening and minor soft and hard tissue biopsies.

Common Signs

When your mouth is healthy, the inside should be smooth and thoroughly pink. Changes that indicate oral cancer can be found within the mouth or on the lips, cheeks, tongue, or face. Pain is surprisingly not a common indicator. That’s why it’s strongly recommended that patients perform a self-examination every month to identify potentially suspicious areas. These could include:

  • Oral sores that bleed and/or are slow to heal
  • Sore throat or hoarseness in the voice that’s become commonplace
  • Constant difficulty when it comes to chewing and swallowing food
  • A red or white patch forming on the inside of the mouth
  • A lump, crust, or thickened area forming on the inside of the mouth

The Procedure

Dr. Lee performs in-depth visual examinations of oral structures to locate any tell-tale signs of oral cancer. If our team locates a suspicious growth, our next step is to collect a small specimen of the potentially cancerous oral tissue. This process is called a biopsy. We provide local anesthetic for comfort, and perform the removal in minutes. We then send the sample to a nearby laboratory for testing. Once we’ve received the results, Dr. Lee discusses your results and treatments that may be needed.