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Dark brown spots on roof of mouth. Have smoking habit. Is it cancer?

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Oncologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 2008
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My Dentist is sending me to an oral surgen because she is concerned about some dark brown spots on the roof of my mouth. I have pictures I can email. I am a pipe smoker.
Posted Thu, 2 May 2013 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Rohan Khandelwal 2 hours later
Dear sir,

Sorry to hear about your problem. The brown patches are known as melanoplakia and they develop in patients who smoke. The problem with these lesions is that they are pre malignant and can convert into cancer in the long run. It is advisable that you undergo a biopsy to rule out cancer and then follow up these lesions with your surgeon in the future.
You should also stop smoking, as that can worsen the condition.
Hoping for the best. Please feel free to clarify any other query.
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Follow-up: Dark brown spots on roof of mouth. Have smoking habit. Is it cancer? 1 hour later
How will the biopsy be done? How likely is it that it is already cancer? If it is cancer, is it curable?
Answered by Dr. Rohan Khandelwal 6 hours later
Dear sir,

The biopsy is done under local anaesthesia and is a relatively painless procedure. By the appearance of the lesion the chances of cancer appear to be less but only biopsy will be able to confirm the diagnosis.
Even if it turns out be cancer, it appears to be a small lesion which can be cured. It is important that you stop smoking, so that more lesions don't develop.

Hope you get well soon.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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