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White patches on the cheek. Diagnosed as leukoplakia. Have smoking addiction. No history of cancer

I had very recent dental work done a week ago and the dentist informed me about some white patches in my cheek that she thought I should have checked into by an Oral Path. I had the same phenomenon 30 years ago with no treatment necessary and forgot about it until now. I ve had other 2 dentists recently look at my mouth for teeth replacement and no indication of the problem, within the last 2-3 months. The dentist said it could be leukoplakia but I do not have any of the symptoms described under that condition with the exception of some hoarseness on & off. I am a pro musician and do sing a fair amount but not anything strenuous. There is absolutely no cancer in my family history and parents/grandparents died of old age in 80 s & 90 s. I am 71 and all my older 3 siblings are in good health up to 87. I do smoke the odd cigar over the past 40 years with no problems, or inhaling. BUT, I am concerned, nevertheless.
Asked On : Sat, 17 Nov 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  219
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Dermatologist 's  Response
Hi there ,
I can understand your concerns,
The diagnosis of Leukoplakia is made only when all other possible causes have been excluded by the doctors. The important thing to remember here is that it's not a cancer in itself but it can be transformed to cancer if left untreated.
The main causes includes smoking,alcohol consumption,ill fitted dentures or constant irritation.
There is one other condition which mimick Leukoplakia and should be excluded by a dermatologist and it can be treated,and that is Oral Lichen Planus. This is a chronic inflammatory condition of the skin an oral mucosa.
I would also suggest that if your doctors are confused in diagnosing the condition then I think there is no harm in doing a skin biopsy which can give us a confirmatory diagnosis and then they can proceed further.
I think the information will help you.
Thaan ka a lot and best of luck.
Answered: Sat, 17 Nov 2012
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