Oral Cancer
The incidence of oral cancer in Australia is 3-5% of all malignancies, but survival rates are very poor at 50% or less. Sixty percent of oral cancers occur on the tongue and floor of the mouth, and the 5-year survival rates in these locations are around 35%. The best way to protect yourself and your patients against oral cancer is by regular oral check-ups. This should be done at least every 12 months, especially if you are at higher risk of acquiring cancer. People at higher risk include those who smoke and consume alcohol on a regular basis.
Many tissue changes result in colour alterations; the most common and significant colour changes are white and red patches. The critical decision is whether there is potential for progression to malignancy or whether it is already malignant.

Biopsy
Diagnostic histopathology of oral lesions plays a vital role in the determination of a diagnosis. Many lesions appear clinically similar, therefore examining a tissue specimen with the aid of the microscope can provide the clinician with a more accurate diagnosis.
There are many different ways to test a tissue specimen based on the nature of the lesion at hand. We perform routine histopathology and immuno-diagnosis of oral lesions such as lichen planus, pemphigus, pemphigoid, leukoplakia, and squamous cell carcinoma.

Cryotherapy
Cryotherapy is the deliberate destruction of tissue by application of extreme cold. It is well received by patients due to a relative lack of discomfort, the absence of bleeding, and minimal scarring after healing. It is painless under local anaesthetic and a short procedure compared with formal surgical management of a lesion. Cryosurgery has many applications in oral medicine and clinical oral pathology, and is extremely useful in patients for whom surgery is contraindicated due to age, medical history, or the nature of the lesion itself. Some of the more common conditions treated with cryotherapy include mucoceles, haemangiomas and focal neurosensory disorders.

  2005 Oral Medicine and Pathology