There are three possible outcomes: benign (most frequently), premalignant, or cancer.

The pathology report will use pathologic diagnoses such as epithelial hyperplasia/hyperkeratosis or other benign diagnoses, epithelial dysplasia (for premalignant lesions), or squamous cell carcinoma (the most common type of cancer seen in the oral cavity).

In epithelial dysplasia, the cells making up the layers of the epithelium look abnormal (atypia), and depending on the amount of abnormal cells seen microscopically, dysplasia may be graded as mild, moderate, severe, or carcinoma in situ (where the atypical cells are in all layers of the epithelium).

In squamous cell carcinoma these abnormal cells are no longer confined just to the epithelium but have invaded below the epithelium into deeper tissues.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES OF A BIOPSY?