Lip Cancer - Causes, Diagnosis, Risk Factors & Treatment
Lip cancers are most commonly seen in the lower lip, less frequently in the mouth and upper lip corner. Lip cancer occurs more than twice in men than in women. They occur after an average of 60 years of age. The most common type is squamous cell cancer, basal cell cancer, melanoma, adenocancer, lipoma, and sarcoma are other types of cancer that can be seen.
Tobacco (cigarettes, hookahs, pipes, etc.) and ultraviolet rays are the 2 most substantial risk factors for lip cancers. Apart from these, alcohol, an unhealthy diet, a low immune system, genetic syndromes, and poor oral hygiene are risk factors.
How to Protect
By avoiding risk factors, we are primarily protected from lip cancers. Especially not using tobacco is very important for the prevention of lip cancer and preventing recurrence of cancer.
Is Early Diagnosis Possible?
There is no routine screening test or plan for lip cancers. Especially if you are at higher risk for these cancers, the diagnosis is made by taking a biopsy from the risky area.
Lip Cancer Symptoms
- Wounds that do not heal for a long time.
- Lump or swelling on the lips.
- White or red patches on the lips.
- Lip movement disorder.
It is essential to see a doctor if any of these conditions persist for more than 2 weeks.
Surgery is the first commonly used treatment for these cancers. It is mainly applied for early-stage cancers, those that are small and have not spread. Various reconstruction (repair) methods are available for lip cancers. The reconstruction method is determined by the area where the tumor is located and how much of the lip is involved.
Radiation therapy can be used in many ways when necessary in lip cancers. Some patients may need a combination of surgery and radiotherapy or a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer drugs to treat cancer. These drugs enter the bloodstream and reach cancers that have spread throughout the body.
It is essential to go to all your follow-up appointments after completing treatment. During these follow-up exams, your doctors will ask questions about possible problems and examine you. Your doctor may also order lab tests or imaging tests.
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