Verrucous carcinoma is a treatable form of oral cancer that eventually forms a large, painful lesion. Presence of a carcinoma lesion on the floor of the mouth is often due to the frequent use of chewing tobacco but even those who don't use tobacco can sometimes get this type of lesion. The good news is that verrucous carcinoma is a very treatable form of squamous cell carcinoma.

What are the treatments and follow-up care often prescribed by a dentist treating verrucous carcinoma?

Surgical Extraction

Verrucous carcinoma lesions are removed surgically and no following chemotherapy or radiation is needed since this type of cancer doesn't spread to surrounding tissues.

Catching the carcinoma early on can improve the outcome of the surgery and the need for follow-up procedures. Lesions are typically asymptomatic when they first appear so if you are at risk, perform regular oral healthcare checks to see if any new small lumps have appeared. Have any problems checked by a dentist as soon as possible.

Lesions that have become painful, and potentially oozing have already progressed fairly far. The lesion is likely large and removing the lesion from the floor of the mouth can lead to a degree of bone and soft tissue loss to ensure that the lesion is fully removed. Modest amounts of bone and tissue loss won't need to be treated, but larger losses could require grafting.

Soft Tissue Graft or Bone Graft

Your oral surgeon can remove donor tissue from the roof of your mouth or donor bone from the jaw or an outside source to patch up any holes left behind by the lesion removal.

If you need both types of grafts, the two procedures might be performed simultaneously so that the bone can be adequately covered by soft tissue to help the underlying blood cells promote the original and donor bone fusing. The soft tissue will then have proper time to heal together since the dentist won't need to cut through it to insert the bone.

Monitoring for Recurrence

Your dentist might schedule regular checkups for a year or longer after the lesion has been removed. Verrucous carcinoma can often reoccur in the same spot. But a larger risk is the chance that the more dangerous form of carcinoma will form instead.

Squamous cell carcinoma resembles verrucous carcinoma in the early stages. But the cell carcinoma spreads into surrounding tissue and cause more widespread damage. The lesions will need to be treated with a combination of surgery and radiation. Catching the carcinoma in its earliest stages makes for the smoothest treatment with the best results.

To learn more, contact a dentist like Dr. Timothy Gilchrist Family Dentistry