In recent months Dr. Bloomquist has referred a handful of patients for biopsy of lesions consistent with the clinical presentation of proliferative verrucous leukoplakia (PVL). In these cases early identification is key to protecting patients overall health. It is our hope that if you should see any of the following signs in your own mouth that you will schedule a visit at SoundBridge for diagnosis and treatment if necessary.
Early PVL plaques appear as isolated white patches, sometimes accompanied with red surrounding tissue. These white patches can appear to be scaly or almost wart-like. These plaques are most commonly found on the soft tissue of the inner cheek, gum tissue surrounding the teeth, tongue, floor of the mouth and palate. These plaques can appear in the same general area for years but over time will spread.
Women are 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with PVL than men. Women are most likely to be effected at age 50 and above. There is no apparent association with smoking according to research.
Studies indicate that PVL is a high risk precancerous lesion with a high mortality rate. Careful clinical and microscopic assessment (biopsy) combined with surgical intervention and close follow up care is the best approach to management and control of the disease.