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#196438 - 05/14/18 11:39 PM Necessary to biopsy leukoplakia first time?  
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 17
jeff hornaevk Offline
jeff hornaevk  Offline

Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 17
Hello I have had a white line inside my upper lip for a few weeks. I saw an oral surgeon and a dentist who expressed no concern. The OS said it was leukoplakia and just to keep an eye on it. Is it necessary to biopsy a lesion the first time?

#196440 - 05/15/18 02:08 AM Re: Necessary to biopsy leukoplakia first time? [Re: jeff hornaevk]  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,148
ChristineB Offline
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
ChristineB  Offline
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,148
Hi Jeff!

Is this the same issue you had been dealing with months ago? Leukoplakia is not a pre-cancer, most often leukoplakia does not change into cancer. Yes it can happen but I think its only about 10-15% of leukoplakia goes on to change into cancer. We have a saying around here... Any sore, spot, bump, etc someone has in their mouth for 2 weeks or longer and it has not healed on its own should be checked by a professional. So, what specialist to see??? Many dentists focus only on teeth and do not see anything else so they wouldnt be the best doctor for this type of advice. By "professional" Im referring to an ENT who specializes in treating oral cancer patients. That kind of ENT should be the most experienced for this type of inquiry as they see a wide variety of mouth/throat problems every day that arent cancer and regularly treat patients who do have oc. Some oral surgeons are ok too as long as they specialize in treating oral cancer patients. There are some ENTs and oral surgeons who only occasionally will treat patients who have serious mouth issues. I would NOT feel comfortable going to that type of doctor for something that could be cancer. Other ENTs primarily put tubes in young childrens ears. Some oral surgeons mostly take out wisdom teeth or treat TMJ. You definitely need to see the proper medical professional to obtain the best advice. Seeing a professional who does not have years of experience with oral cancer (oc) tumors or treating an oc patient is a waste of time and money. Only thru a biopsy will you know exactly what you are dealing with.

Always remember the Oral Cancer Foundation's online patient support forum is made up of oral cancer patients/survivors and caregivers. We arent medical professionals. We do NOT have years of medical school, clinical patient experience, etc which means we are not qualified to second guess medical professionals. This is even more true when looking at the whole picture. Giving someone medical advice in situations where we're not able to see the sore (even though we would not know what was or wasnt cancer by a photo) having only a very small tidbit of info without the benefit of reviewing the patients full medical history and examining the patient who can further explain what all of their ailments are. The very best thing you can do is to find the correct doctor who is very experienced in both benign mouth issues and cancerous tumors. Another of our sayings is... Its NOT cancer until the biopsy says it is.

Heres a study from a few years ago that delves into your question...

NCBI... Oral Leukoplakia -- Biopsy Necessary?

Hopefully what you have in your mouth is not serious and will not turn into cancer. Best wishes!!!

SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07
-65 lbs in 2 mo, no caregvr
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo xtended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line IV antibx 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3x in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile
#196441 - 05/15/18 02:31 AM Re: Necessary to biopsy leukoplakia first time? [Re: jeff hornaevk]  
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 17
jeff hornaevk Offline
jeff hornaevk  Offline

Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 17
Hey thanks for the long answer and the quick response. It’s actually not the initial lesion I had- that was removed and didn’t return thank god. It showed dysplasia. I made an appointment with the dental school of my local big school, which is Rutgers. I feel they would be better than a local ent/oral surgeon. Thanks again!

Moderated by  Brian Hill 

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