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Your dentist may first start with a brush test to diagnose and biopsy a possible case of mouth cancer. The dentist will brush the suspicious mouth sore to gather cells, which are sent to a diagnostic laboratory to be analyzed under a microscope. If the brush test is positive for cancer cells your dentist may then perform an incisional biopsy to confirm the results. With an incisional biopsy, the doctor will remove part or all of the suspicious lesion. If the lab finds the cells to be precancerous, the mouth lesion will be removed using surgery.
A mouth cancer biopsy is performed by first removing a sample of tissue from the suspicious area. Local anesthesia is often used for this short procedure. After the sample is collected, it is examined for cancer by a pathologist. The pathologist will be able to determine whether the cells are cancerous.
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