Oral Biopsies in Cerritos CA
Once Dr. Hofkes has examined your mouth and discussed his diagnosis of oral cancer with you, he will perform a biopsy. While words like “cancer” and “biopsy” are not the warmest, fuzziest terms, the team at the offices of Dr. Hofkes is your biggest support system. From the diagnosis through the biopsy and treatments, our goal is to offer you a safe, comfortable experience. By forming a lasting, trusting relationship with you, Dr. Hofkes will help you cope with oral cancer while you are on a path to recovery. The first step is a biopsy, which is simply a procedure that involves testing a collection of your cells.
What Is a Biopsy?
A biopsy is a process by which a lab will study a sample of your tissue. In the case of oral cancer, a small piece of tissue will be removed from your mouth and sent to a lab. The lab will examine the tissue to determine which disease is affecting your cells. The examination also includes the extent of the disease, such as whether oral cancer is just beginning or in advanced stages. The lab can also test for pre-cancerous cells to catch disease in its early stages before it progresses.
Are There Different Types of Biopsies?
There is not a single type of biopsy that fits every single person or circumstance. Dr. Hofkes will make a careful decision so that your biopsy provides the most thorough information. In the case of oral cancer, sometimes your doctor will scrape cells without making incisions. The cells are sent to the lab for examination. In other cases, a small amount of tissue may be cut away from the area in question. Dr. Hofkes and our team will support you through the biopsy. If necessary, we will apply a localized anesthetic for a comfortable experience.
What Can I Expect?
Up to 1 out of 10 people experience changes in the lining of their mouths. Biopsies are common procedures that may require gentle scraping or a small incision with a scalpel. Dr. Hofkes may wait for a week or two to give the irritation or problem time to resolve on its own. However, when he has made the conservative decision for a biopsy, you will experience a waiting period while the lab examines the tissue. Dr. Hofkes may also need to pursue other avenues of diagnosis, such as further X-rays or scans.
What Happens After the Biopsy?
If the biopsy comes back negative, Dr. Hofkes and our team will keep an eye on the issue through subsequent visits. For a biopsy that comes back positive, we will begin considering oral cancer treatment options. Because oral cancer appears in a variety of stages and manifestations, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Whether you experience pre-cancerous cell growth or a tumor that has spread beyond your mouth, Dr. Hofkes will speak with you regarding his recommendations. You will continue to see Dr. Hofkes, who will help guide you on your way toward restored oral health.
Schedule an Appointment!
At the offices of Shawn Hofkes, DDS, we are dedicated to providing you with the care that will help you achieve a healthy, brilliant smile. Please contact us today to schedule your dental appointment with Dr. Hofkes. Contact our Cerritos office located in Fountain Plaza, directly across from Los Cerritos Center. Shawn Hofkes, DDS, is happy to offer dental services to patients from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, Fullerton, and surrounding communities.