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A 33-year-old member asked:

Possible oral/mouth cancer. how to tell for sure?

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 45 years experience
Biopsy: Unless your physician or dentist is 100% that it's benign, you'll get a biopsy, which will be read by a pathologist such as myself, and hopefully a couple of us. We'll tell you whether it's cancer. Many, perhaps most, oral cancers are now cured.
Dr. Stephen Sandler
Dentistry 50 years experience
See an oral surgeon: If you think you have oral cancer, see the specialistw who treat it most often - an oral surgeon (sometimes a periodontist also) so they can look biopsy it, and make sure what it is.
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 55 years experience
How do you know?: What makes you think that you might have oral cancer? Most oral lesions are either not cancerous or if caught early are easily removed and do not cause further problems. Please don't wait. See an oral surgeon for a clinical exam. If necessary, he\she can remove and biopsy it. You will be completely numb and it is an easy procedure if done early. That is the only way to know for sure.
Dr. Louis Gallia
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial 46 years experience
Signs/Symptoms: See oral surgeon or ENT doc if you have any of these symptoms: Persistent mouth sore, persistent mouth pain, a lump or thickening in the cheek, a white/red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth, a sore throat, hoarseness or feeling that something is caught in the throat that does not go away, difficulty swallowing/chewing.

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Last updated Feb 3, 2018
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