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.
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
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 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