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Incisional Biopsy of Oral Tumors with Dr. Boston

Sarah Boston, DVM, DVSc, DACVS, ACVS Founding Fellow of Surgical Oncology, ACVS Founding Fellow of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, VCA Canada, Newmarket, Ontario, Canada



In this episode, host Alyssa Watson, DVM, welcomes back Sarah Boston, DVM, DVSc, DACVS, to talk about her recent Clinician’s Brief article, “Incisional Biopsy of Oral Tumors.” Dr. Boston explains why tissue biopsy is definitively better than aspiration of oral tumors and shares some good tips for how to get the most out of your samples. She also discusses how to set the specialist up for success when you’re planning on referring and reminds us about what else we could be doing at the time of biopsy.

Key Takeaways

  • Tissue biopsy is the preferred diagnostic for oral tumors.
  • If planning referral after excision, make sure the specialist can locate exactly where the tumor was—leave a suture in place, or a portion of the lesion (if appropriate).
  • Take photos and submit with biopsy samples whenever able.
  • Evaluate for bone lysis and notify the pathologist when it’s present.
  • It is a good idea to get chest radiographs and aspirate mandibular lymph nodes at the time of biopsy.

About the Guest

Sarah Boston, DVM, DVSc, DACVS, ACVS Founding Fellow of Surgical Oncology, ACVS Founding Fellow of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, is a veterinary surgical oncologist at VCA Canada in Newmarket, Ontario. Dr. Boston earned her DVM from Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. She also completed a small animal rotating internship and a residency at University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, where she also earned her DVSc in small animal surgery. She authored Lucky Dog: How Being a Veterinarian Saved my Life and is one of the creators of The Cageliner, a satirical online newspaper for veterinary professionals.

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The Team:

  • Alyssa Watson, DVM - Host
  • Alexis Ussery - Producer & Digital Content Coordinator
  • Randall Stupka - Podcast Production & Sound Editing
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