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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Leukoplakia: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Mouth and Teeth (Oral and Dental)


Leukoplakia | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

A sample of tissue is taken from an area of leukoplakia to see if it is cancerous. This is known as a biopsy. If the lesion is found to be cancerous, it is usually cut out with surgery. This usually cures the cancer.

If the lesion is benign, or noncancerous, it can be monitored for changes. Sometimes the area of leukoplakia is removed for cosmetic purposes. A person may also want this done to take away any fear of developing cancer in the future. Surgery or medications may be used to remove a noncancerous area of leukoplakia.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Biopsy and surgery may cause bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to anesthesia. Medications used to remove benign areas of leukoplakia may irritate the skin and cause pain.

What happens after treatment for the condition?

If the lesion is removed, the person is cured of the leukoplakia. If the leukoplakia is not removed, the area needs to be checked from time to time to make sure the lesion does not change into cancer.

How is the condition monitored?

Monitoring is not usually needed if the lesion is removed entirely. If the leukoplakia is not removed, the area should be checked over time by the person and the healthcare provider to make sure it hasn't changed. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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Leukoplakia: Prevention & Expectations


Author: Adam Brochert, MD
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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