Lip cancer starts when rogue cells multiply uncontrollably, resulting in a lesion or tumour. Tumours or lesions form on the lips as a consequence of the unchecked growth of aberrant cells, which is what causes lip cancer. Lip cancer, a subtype of squamous cell carcinoma, may affect either the upper or lower lip but often manifests itself on the lower lip. Squamous cells in the epidermis are the origin of more than 90% of malignancies of the oral mucosa, including lip cancers. A squamous cell is a thin, flat cell that lines the mouth and lips. Lesions or tumours (s) may arise on the lips when these cells multiply uncontrollably.
Causes of Lip Cancer
Many occurrences of oral cancer are associated with cigarette use and severe alcohol usage, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial ResearchReliable Source. For those whose jobs require them to spend a lot of time in the sun, sunburn is a very real and serious concern. This is due to the fact that they spend more time in the sun. Although researchers have yet to pinpoint a single cause for lip cancer, they have identified a number of risk factors that substantially increase an individual's likelihood of having the disease.
Important Potential Dangers of Lip Cancer
- Tobacco use. (This includes smoking cigarettes, cigars, and pipes and using snuff and chewing tobacco.)
- Heavy alcohol use.
- Excessive sun exposure.
- Having fair skin.
- Being over the age of 40.
- Being male.
- Having HPV (human papillomavirus virus).
- A weakened immune system.
Tobacco usage is associated with almost all cases of lip cancer, even more so for those who also partake in heavy alcohol use while smoking.
Lip Cancer Symptoms
Discolouration that is either flat or slightly elevated may be the first sign of lip cancer in its early stages.
Additional signs of lip cancer include the following:
- An open wound, lesion, blister, ulcer, or bump on the surface of the mouth that does not heal.
- A spot on the lip that might be red or white.
- A painful or bleeding condition on the lips.
- Jaw enlargement and edoema.
It'sIt's possible that lip cancer won't show any signs. During a normal dental checkup, dentists often make the first discovery of lip cancer. However, just because you have a sore or a lump on your lips does not always suggest that you have cancer of the lip. Talk to your dentist or doctor about any symptoms you're experiencing.
How is Lip Cancer Diagnosed?
If you have signs or symptoms of lip cancer, visit your doctor. They'llThey'll undertake a physical inspection of your lips and other parts of your mouth to seek abnormal regions and attempt to discover probable reasons. Your doctor will use a gloved finger to feel inside your lips and utilize mirrors and lighting to check the interior of your mouth. They may also feel your neck for swollen lymph nodes.
Your physician will also inquire about the following things from you:
- Medical background.
- A background in smoking and drinking
- Prior ailments.
- Medical and dental procedures.
- A history of the illness in the family
- Whatever drugs that you are now taking.
If a biopsy is performed, it is possible to confirm if a patient has lip cancer. During a biopsy, a tiny sample of the afflicted region is removed. After that, an examination of the specimen is carried out at a pathology laboratory using a microscope. If the findings of the biopsy show that you do indeed have cancer of the lip, your physician will most likely order a series of other tests to identify the stage of the disease and whether or not it has spread to other areas of the body.
Among the possible tests are the following:
- CT scan
- MRI scan
- PET scan
- chest X-ray
- complete blood count (CBC)
Treatment of Lip Cancer
There are several different therapies available for lip cancer, some of which include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Targeted therapy and other experimental therapies, including immunotherapy and gene therapy, are other potential alternatives that might be considered. The therapy for pancreatic cancer, like that for other types of cancer, is determined by the stage of the disease, how far it has advanced (including the size of the tumour), and your overall state of health.
In most cases, surgery is used to remove the tumour when it is of a more manageable size. This necessitates the excision of any and all tissue associated with the tumour, in addition to reconstructing the lip (cosmetically and functionally). If the tumour is bigger or at a later stage, radiation and chemotherapy may be used to decrease the tumour before or after surgery in order to limit the chance of recurrence. This may be done either to shrink the tumour or to kill any remaining cancer cells.
Chemotherapy treatments include the administration of medications throughout the body, with the goal of reducing the likelihood that cancer will spread or come back. Quitting smoking before beginning therapy is recommended for smokers in order to enhance treatment results.
Risk for Lip Cancer
A lip tumour, if untreated, may metastasize to other regions of the mouth and tongue, as well as to other organs and systems. If cancer has spread, treatment will be considerably more challenging. Lip cancer therapy has the potential for both practical and aesthetic side effects. After surgery to remove a big lip tumour, patients may encounter difficulties with eating, swallowing, and talking. Lip and facial deformity due to surgery is a possibility. However, consulting a speech pathologist may enhance one's linguistic abilities. A facial fracture may be repaired by a plastic surgeon or a reconstructive surgeon.
Chemotherapy and radiation may have the following negative consequences on the body:
- hair loss
- weakness and fatigue
- poor appetite
- numbness in the hands and feet
- severe anaemia
- weight loss
- dry skin
- sore throat
- change in taste
- inflamed mucous membranes in the mouth (oral mucositis)
A bump or sore on the lips or within the mouth that does not heal might be an early indicator of lip cancer. Although anybody is at risk for developing lip cancer, elderly men with fair complexion are disproportionately affected. Any kind of mouth sore has to be treated immediately. Lip cancer treatment options are condition-specific and take into account the tumour's stage and size. However, conventional treatment often consists of both surgery and radiation therapy. Lip cancer is mostly curable if caught and treated early. Protection from the sun, moderation in the use of alcoholic beverages, and abstinence from tobacco products have all been shown to lessen the likelihood of developing lip cancer. Regular dental examinations increase the likelihood of detecting lip cancer in its earliest stages.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. With lip cancer, what should I anticipate?
The predictability of survival from lip cancer increases with earlier detection and treatment. Even with an early diagnosis, surgery may be required to fix the issue. If the cancer cells have migrated to other parts of your body, you will likely be advised to undergo chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or some other kind of cancer treatment. What to anticipate from your therapy may be discussed in detail with your healthcare practitioner.
Q2. Can lip cancer be cured?
Most often not. Cancers of the lip are often diagnosed and treated early because their lesions appear in highly visible areas. Because of this, the five-year survival rate for lip cancer is 92%. This indicates that five years after being diagnosed, 92% of patients are still living. Survival rates are approximations, so keep that in mind. They are unable to provide specifics about your situation or predict your prognosis. The best person to answer your concerns regarding the expected length of stay at a facility is your doctor.
Q3. How quickly will my health improve if I begin treatment?
The effectiveness of therapy and the patient's own regenerative abilities are two key variables. People with lip cancer in the early stages who have surgery usually make a full recovery in about three weeks. It may take many months for you to feel back to normal after undergoing radiation treatment or chemotherapy.