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Types of Oral Cancer Risk Tests We Can Perform

Posted on 7/26/2021 by Dr McMurray
Types of Oral Cancer Risk Tests We Can PerformWhen you are at risk for oral cancer, it helps to know where you stand. We can help by screening for the risk of oral cancer through tests. However, to make a diagnosis of cancer, we need to perform a biopsy. That is the only way we know, for certain, that a patient has cancer.

Physical Exam

We routinely conduct a physical exam to check the lip and oral cavity during checkups. If any signs are noted, we will take a complete medical history, asking about risk factors and symptoms. We will also check for lumps on the lips, gums, neck, or cheeks. Because people with increased risks for oral cancer have a higher risk for other cancers, we also check the lymph nodes, the voice box (larynx), and behind the nasal cavity.


An endoscopy can help us see inside the mouth and the throat. We use a thin tube with an attached light and view lens to observe the areas of the head and neck. A rigid endoscope with a view lens may be placed in the back of the mouth to check that area. An endoscopic procedure may go under different names, depending on where the exam is performed. For example, a laryngoscopy is an endoscopy that is used to check the larynx. A nasopharyngoscopy is used to examine the nasopharynx area. To make things more comfortable, an anesthetic spray is used to numb the area.

Biopsy and Oral Brush Biopsy

A biopsy or oral brush biopsy are used to remove a tissue or cell samples, respectively. The specimens are sent to a lab for further analysis. When an oral brush biopsy is used, confirmation is made through a traditional biopsy.

Have you been screened for oral cancer? If not, now is a good time to do so. It does not take much time and it ensures that you stay on top of your oral health care routine. Give us a call today for an appointment and an exam.

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