Learn all about lip skin cancer symptoms and treatments used for it. Skin cancer is a malignant growth of the external surface or epithelial layer of the skin. The lower lip is approximately 12 times more likely to be affected, owing to its greater exposure to sunlight.
Lip cancer occurs most often on the lower lip and is seen overwhelming in fair-skinned males over the age of 50. This may be because these men are in occupations with a lot of sun exposure, such as construction or farming. Smoking is also thought to contribute to lip cancer. Tobacco and alcohol use can affect the risk of lip and oral cavity cancer.
Lip and oral cavity cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lips or mouth. Aside from metastases to other parts of the body, lip cancer also results in altered body image because of the presence of tumor on the lips. This significantly reduces the self-esteem of the patient. Metastasis to the oral cavity also yields difficulty in drinking, eating, talking or breathing.
Many people forget about their lips when applying sunscreen and many lip glosses, used to moisturize the lips, do not contain sunscreen. Look for a lip gloss that has an SPF of at least 30. If not, use a lipstick with sunscreen under your lip gloss. When diagnosed early, the prognosis for lip cancer is very good. Stage one, where the cancer is less than 1 inch in diameter and has not spread to other areas of the body, is treated by removing the cancer. Sometimes radiation treatment is also used to make sure all cancer has been removed. In later stages doctor needs to determine if the cancer has spread and whether it has entered the lymph nodes.
Treatment for cancer of the lip is much the same as for skin cancer. However, new research has shown that heat can kill some cancer cells and that type of treatment, called hyperthermia, is sometimes used. Most people recover from lip cancer. Only about 4 in 2.5 million people in the United States dies from lip cancer.
Lip Skin Cancer – Pictures, Symptoms, Signs, Treatment
Lip cancer is the most common form of oral cancer, and affects mostly men. There are two types of lip cancer: squamous cell and basal cell. The most common type of lip cancer begins in the squamous cells, the thin, flat cells that line the lips and mouth. The lips are a not uncommon, but often overlooked site for non-melanoma skin cancers.
Lip cancer symptoms are very similar to those of other types of oral cancer. It can often be mistaken for a cold that won’t go away, or a persistent toothache. Surgery is often the first treatment option for lip cancer that has been detected at an early stage. Surgery can also be part of a treatment program for advanced-stage cancer. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted drug therapy are also potential treatment options for patients with lip cancer. A combination of these therapies can be used.
Sign and Symptoms of Lip Skin Cancer
The early stage of lip cancer may be asymptomatic. Symptoms of lip cancer include:
- A sore on the lip that does not heal
- Bleeding on the lip
- Lump on the lip
- Lip thickening
- Discoloration around the lip area or on the lip itself
- Lymphadenopathy or enlarged lymph nodes on the neck
- Swelling on the area
- Pain on the lip
- Tingling sensation or numbness on the lip
When lip cancer occurs with overall oral cancer, there may also be lesions inside the mouth or oral cavity that do not heal. Lesions may also spread on the throat or pharynx
Lip Skin Cancer Pictures
Lip Skin Cancer Treatment
Treatment for lip cancer follows the most common management for all types of cancers including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Following are the treatment options for lip skin cancer:
- Surgery involves the removal of lip tumor and neck surgeries including removal of the lymph nodes. Surgery is also used to determine spread of the cancer cells. Other tissues in the neck may also be removed when they are already affected.
- Chemotherapy is an adjunct to surgery to completely remove cancer cells from the circulation and prevent further spread. Cisplatin (Platinol) is commonly used. Other combination drugs may also be administered. The use of chemotherapy should be cautiously administered because this may potentially lead to bone marrow suppression. Side-effects include temporary hair loss, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.
- Anti-emetic drugs may be given prior to the administration of chemotherapeutic drugs to reduce nausea and vomiting. Patients should also be placed in reverse isolation precaution to prevent infection brought about by bone marrow suppression.
- Radiation therapy is also employed to halt spread and growth of malignant cells.
Complementary therapies may also be employed to increase the well-being of cancer patients. Most commonly employed therapy is acupuncture, yoga and massage therapy. These managements should not be done in place of medical interventions.