Going for biopsy in 9 days - need help for post diagnosis
I was seen immediately (within the hour) by my dentist on 1/11 when I called and described my issue. My dentist said it was too big for him to biopsy, so he took a picture of the circular raised lesion inside my cheek (about the size and thickness of a penny) and sent it to the oral surgeon. This dental office immediately set up an appointment with the oral surgeon for 1/24. They usually have you do such things yourself, but I felt a sense of urgency on dentist’s part. I fully expect that my issue is Buccal mucosa cancer. I’m seeing an oral and Maxillofacial surgeon for the biopsy. Assuming it is cancer – should I see this oral and Maxillofacial surgeon for next steps or an oncologist? I have no idea for how the process moves forward and who drives what. Any help would be useful.
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Hello @gtokaren and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I’m sure this lesion in your mouth was a startling discovery. It’s good you went in to see your dentist quickly to have this checked out and are now set up for a biopsy with the oral surgeon. Waiting for biopsies are so stressful. You want to know and yet, you don’t… We’ll be optimist that is not cancerous and no further treatment will be needed.
However if turns out that this is a type of oral cancer, your oral/maxillofacial surgeon can help guide you to the next steps. This surgeon is a specialist who treats diseases of the mouth, teeth, and jaws.
Or your surgeon may refer you to one of several specialists who treat oral cancer.
An otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose, and throat, or ENT doctor: A surgeon who treats certain diseases of the head and neck.
A radiation oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with radiation therapy.
A medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy
This is all premature at this point and but I understand your wanting to know what’s next. The biopsy, if positive for cancer will allow the doctor to stage the degree of the cancer. That will then help determine the next step in your medical care.
We often don’t even realize we have anything going on in our mouths unless they are irritating, rough or sore. How did you discover this?
Thank you so much for this information. It is very helpful. It is unnerving to wait this long then to find out the “verdict”. Hard not to think about.
I had had the feeling of an ulcer on my cheek for over a week. It was not improving and I decided to take a look. I turned on the flashlight from my iphone and looked in the mirror. Honestly, I was taken aback when I saw the size and perfect roundness of this thing – plus it was raised. I then called the dentist to have a look.
It does sound as though this wasn’t going on very long so that is positive. I’ve worked in the dental field my entire career and some things that appear quite alarming aren’t always cancerous. So I’ll be waiting right along with you to hear about your biopsy, if you don’t mind.
Your cheek will be tender after the biopsy so have some soft, easy to chew foods on hand. Basically, make your own baby/toddler foods…small bits, soft consistency. Nothing too hot like soup and also avoid spicy hot things at that time.
You may get some pain medication, if not then Advil would work the best if you’re able to take it. That reduces inflammation. Avoid mouth rinses or toothpaste that contain mint until it’s healed. Children’s toothpaste such as Bert’s Bees is soothing. Warm saltwater rinses several times a day can also help with healing.
Let me know how you’re doing after the biopsy, ok? (That doesn’t mean you can’t write sooner!) 😊
Thank you so much! Your note is filled with such useful information. I very much appreciate that, as I am in uncharted territory. I will definitely keep you posted. I feel as if it is sprouting shoots off the circle at this time. I’m not feeling good at all about this; but I will know in another week or so.