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Are There Types of Oral Cancers that Show Up on Regular X-Rays?

Posted on 12/15/2019 by Westlake Oral & Plastic Surgery
Are There Types of Oral Cancers that Show Up on Regular X-Rays?Oral cancer can be spotted in many different ways; however, they can't be specifically identified with the use of an x-ray. X-rays are most commonly used after oral cancer has already been identified, but it may be possible to find oral cancer with x-rays.

A special type of x-ray called a panoramic x-ray will be used to take x-rays of the mouth once a cancer has been identified. The purpose of this is to see if oral cancer has spread from where it was spotted inside your oral cavity. Normal x-rays may also be taken to see if the cancer has spread to the lungs.

Oral cancer is usually identified by sight, but sometimes it can't be easily seen with the eye. If you have experienced symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue, and abnormal oral bleeding, it may be an indication of oral cancer. X-rays are effective at spotting hidden cancers, so they may be a method utilized when undergoing tests.

Understanding An Oral Biopsy

When oral cancer is located in your mouth, a biopsy will be taken of it. A biopsy is simply a tissue sample collected from the area that may be cancer so that it can be identified. There are three types of biopsies which are excisional, percutaneous, and brush. Excisional biopsies require that an entire growth is removed from your mouth. The growth will be sent to a lab for examination.

Percutaneous biopsies utilize needles to collect tissue from an abnormal area. The last type of biopsy, the brush biopsy, is the least painful but also the least used. For a brush biopsy, a small brush is scrubbed against a suspected cancerous area to collect very small amounts of tissue.

While x-rays aren't ever used to identify a cancer, they can be used to find a growth, which could lead to cancer. X-rays are an important step in the diagnosis process as they give a lot of information about the stage a cancer is at. If you have any more questions, please give us a call and we'll be happy to help you.
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Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery
911 Hampshire Road Suite 4
Westlake Village, CA 91361

(805) 495-7416