An Overview of Lip Cancer

Lip cancer is a malignancy, occurring due to an autonomous and uncontrolled multiplication of cells in the lips. Lip cancer is a comparatively rare form of malignancy, and a greater part of the cases of lip cancer are due to squamous cell carcinoma.

Lip Cancer Symptoms

The following are the commonest lip cancer symptoms:

Initial stages of lip cancer may be asymptomatic, i.e. there, may not be any clinical manifestations at all.
Over a period of time, a sore or a lesion develops. Importantly, it fails to heal; and bleeds easily.
There may be a thickening or a lump on the lips.

Risk factors for Lip Cancer

Individuals who consume excessive alcohol and those who smoke a lot are at grave risk.
Chewing tobacco is also an important risk factor for lip cancer.
Sun exposure increases the risk for lip cancer as well.
Another major risk factor is HPV infection.

Diagnosing the Lip Cancer Symptoms

A detailed physical examination of the lips and mouth helps determine the exact cause. The lymph nodes in the neck are also examined for swelling. A biopsy needs to be done to find out the exact condition and type of malignancy.

Occasionally, lip cancer symptoms tend to go unnoticed, for the reason that they are similar to symptoms of other conditions. Besides, infrequently, some people do not demonstrate any symptoms during the initial stages.

Hence, it is very crucial that you have regular physical and dental check ups, follow good dental hygiene, steer clear of the risk factors and prevent HPV infection through safe sex practices.

Lip Cancer Symptoms Treatment

Treatment for lip cancer depends on when the diagnosis is made, the type of cancer, the stage of the disease, the degree of spread, patient's age and his overall health status. The condition is most treatable if diagnosed in the early stages. A special health care team is required in order to manage lip cancer; it comprises of: medical oncologists, dentists, radiation oncologists, and registered nurses specializing in cancer care. Together, these experts help mange the case effectively.

Surgical intervention: excision of the tumor mass from the lip is done. Also, during the excision, some amount of surrounding healthy tissue, and adjacent lymph nodes and other tissues are removed to avert recurrences and spread.

Radiation therapy: is necessary to destroy all the cancer cells.

Chemotherapy: The treatment regimen integrates chemotherapy drugs as well.

For people in whom the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage and the condition is terminal, the intention of the treatment changes. Management of these cases modifies from treating to concentrating up on means to diminish the intensity of symptoms, alleviate / palliate the pain and make the patient comfortable. Treatment may need to be given via a hospice program.