Lip cancer: Introduction
Lip cancer is a type of malignancy that occurs when there is an uncontrolled growth of cancer cells in the lips. Lip cancer is a kind of oral cancer and a relatively rare form of cancer. The majority of cases of lip cancer are due to squamous cell carcinoma.
Lip cancer is most treatable and curable if caught in the earliest stages of the disease. Untreated and/or advanced lip cancer can spread into the deeper tissues of the mouth and neck. In advanced stages, lip cancer can spread through the lymph nodes and blood to other parts of the body where the cancer cells can form another cancerous tumor. This is called metastasis.
Lip cancer occurs most often on the lower lip. Early symptoms include a sore or lesion that does not heal. However, there may not be any symptoms in early stages of lip cancer. For more details on other key symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of lip cancer.
People at risk for developing lip cancer include smokers and people who drink alcohol excessively. Using smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco) and sunlight exposure also increases the risk of developing lip cancer. Risks also include being male and being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV).
Diagnosing lip cancer begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms and risk factors for lip cancer. Diagnosis also includes completing a physical examination that concentrates on the lips and mouth. It is not unusual for early signs of lip or oral cancer to be found by a dentist during an oral exam. The lymph nodes in the neck are also felt for signs of swelling (lymphedema).
Diagnostic testing includes a biopsy. In a biopsy a sample of cells or tissues are taken from the area of the lip that may be cancerous. The sample is examined under a microscope for the presence of lip cancer cells.
A diagnosis of lip cancer can be missed or delayed because some symptoms of lip cancer are similar to those of other conditions. In addition, some people may have not symptoms in early stages of some forms of lip cancer. For more information about other diseases, disorders and conditions that can mimic lip cancer, refer to misdiagnosis of lip cancer.
The prognosis for people with lip cancer varies depending on the stage of advancement of the cancer and other factors. Treatment of lip cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. For more details about treatment plans, refer to treatment of lip cancer. ...more »
Any cancer involving the lip. Excessive sun exposure and smoking are the two main factors which can lead to lip cancer. Lip cancer is the main type of oral cancer. Lip cancer usually has the initial appearance of an ulcer that won't heal. ...more »
Lip cancer: Symptoms
Symptoms of lip cancer can vary among individuals and differ depending on the stage of advancement of lip cancer. There may not be any symptoms in early lip cancer.
Typical symptoms of lip cancer include a sore or lesion on the lips, especially if it does not heal. These lesion can bleed easily. There may also be a thickening or discolored lump on the lips. Other symptoms ...more symptoms »
Lip cancer: Treatments
Treatment of lip cancer starts with prevention. Preventive measures include not smoking or drinking alcohol to excess. It is also important to avoid excessive exposure to the sun and sunburns. Using safe sex practices is also key. This can help avoid oral infection with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV), which increases the risk of developing lip ...more treatments »
Lip cancer: Misdiagnosis
A diagnosis of lip cancer can be delayed or missed because in early stages there may not be any symptoms. In addition, some symptoms of lip cancer can be similar to symptoms of other diseases or conditions. These include oral herpes, canker sores, lip burn, self inflicted bite, and cold sores. ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Lip cancer
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Treatments for Lip cancer
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Lip cancer: Related Patient Stories
Lip cancer: Deaths
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Causes of Lip cancer
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Misdiagnosis and Lip cancer
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Types of Lip cancer
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