Lip Cancer - Symptoms, Signs, Stages And Treatment Of Lip Cancer

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Video: Lip Cancer - Symptoms, Signs, Stages And Treatment Of Lip Cancer

Video: Lip Cancer - Symptoms, Signs, Stages And Treatment Of Lip Cancer
Video: Oral Cancer - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology 2023, March
Lip Cancer - Symptoms, Signs, Stages And Treatment Of Lip Cancer
Lip Cancer - Symptoms, Signs, Stages And Treatment Of Lip Cancer

Causes, symptoms, stages and treatment of lip cancer


  • Lip cancer symptoms
  • Causes of lip cancer
  • The initial stage of lip cancer
  • Recovery projections

Nine out of ten cases of lip cancer in Russia are in the male population. The disease often affects the lower lip (95-98%), mainly in men. The remaining 2-5% are malignant neoplasms of the upper lip: in this group of patients there are almost only women.

The tumor, as a rule, forms after the age of sixty, and after seventy there is a sharp rise in the incidence. Therefore, lip cancer is considered a disease of old age. However, isolated cases of this cancer occur in younger people.

If untreated, the tumor spreads to the cheeks and bones of the lower jaw, the collection, then to the supraclavicular lymph nodes and cervical lymph nodes. Cancer of the lip gives metastases to other organs and systems very rarely.

If the disease is detected early, the prognosis for the patient's life is very favorable. A complete cure is possible in seventy percent of cases.

Lip cancer symptoms

The main signs of lip cancer include:

  • an increase in the size of the lip itself;
  • sometimes - cheek swelling;
  • Difficulty eating
  • increased salivation and saliva flow from the mouth;
  • bad breath coming from the mouth;
  • bluish color of the oral mucosa; deterioration in the mobility of the lower jaw;
  • hoarse voice, change in its timbre;
  • sore throat due to swollen lymph nodes;
  • decrease in general well-being;
  • fast fatiguability; weakness;
  • sharp weight loss.

Precisely because of the striking similarity with rather harmless diseases in the early stages, lip cancer often does not cause special concerns in the patient. By trying to cope with the problem on their own, people often start the disease. And they often find themselves at a doctor's appointment when the oncological process has already passed into the third, or even the fourth stage.

In the third stage, lip cancer invades the soft tissues of the chin and cheeks. On the fourth, it grows into the bones of the lower jaw, tissue of the tongue, neck and shoulders. The mobility of the tongue is impaired. A person cannot eat and speak. Losing weight dramatically. The nodes under the jaw and chin are affected and then destroyed, then the cervical and supraclavicular ones. The general condition and quality of life deteriorate significantly.

What does lip cancer look like?

Lip cancer
Lip cancer

Usually, this form of cancer affects the lower lip. The neoplasm is located in its open places, along which the red border passes. The most common localization sites are approximately halfway between the center of the lip and the corner of the mouth. Moreover, in most cases, the target is the right side of the lower lip.

Outwardly, a malignant tumor at the onset of the disease resembles a brown or pink wart, a small sore or fissure. May be scaly and flaky. It doesn't hurt when pressed, but when trying to tear off the top layer it bleeds and causes pain.

A superficial ulcer (erosion) gradually develops. It grows and becomes covered with a dry scab that is difficult to remove, or a gray coating. A dense ridge or border forms along the edge of the ulcer. Both the cushion itself and the bottom of the ulcer are usually dry, without signs of inflammation. Touching them does not cause pain.

As deeper tissues are captured, the bottom of the ulcer begins to shine, becomes uneven and becomes covered with a dirty film. If the film is removed, the bottom of the ulcer begins to bleed. At a later stage, the ulcer may become covered with a scab; under it, tiny white papillae are observed in a mixture of blood and lymph. Such an ulcer does not heal, antiherpetic and anti-inflammatory drugs do not stop the process.

Growing, the neoplasm reaches the size of a hen's egg, it becomes like a massive node with a wide base or like a mushroom.

Causes of lip cancer


A malignant tumor in lip cancer develops from squamous epithelial cells located on the red border of the lips. Smoking is the leading cause of the disease.

People who use tobacco products are significantly more likely to get sick than others. Among patients diagnosed with lip cancer, smokers are the overwhelming majority.

When smoking tobacco, the mucous membrane of the lips is subjected to a double “attack”: hot cigarette smoke and its constituent carcinogenic substances. The skin and mucous membranes of the lips quickly lose moisture and dry out. This provokes the appearance of microcracks, where various bacteria, viruses and fungi easily penetrate.

Hence, various inflammatory processes are a powerful risk factor for lip cancer. Wounds and cracks that do not heal for a long time, papillomas, inflammations can eventually transform into more serious pathologies - warty dyskeratosis, Manganotti cheilitis, lichen planus of the erosive variety, erythroplakia, leukoplakia. All these violations are referred to as precancerous changes.

The sun contributes to the creation of favorable conditions for the development of lip cancer. Excess ultraviolet radiation has a negative effect on surface tissues, causes dry skin, and any sunburn (when the skin turns red) automatically increases the risk of developing cancer. For this reason, doctors are sure, lip cancer is twice as likely to occur in rural residents than in those who live in the city. Villagers are much more likely than townspeople to be outdoors and are exposed to direct sunlight.

In terms of significance, all risk factors for the development of malignant neoplasms of the lips can be arranged in approximately the following order:

  • smoking;
  • chewing tobacco and nicotine chewing gum;
  • exposure to high temperatures;
  • mechanical injuries, including from piercing; chemical injuries;
  • exposure to sunlight, wind;
  • alcohol in large quantities;
  • the use of various chewing gum containing betel nut and nasvay;
  • trauma to the mucous membrane with sharp edges of the teeth and contact with carious teeth for a long time;
  • using poorly fitted dentures;
  • deficiency of vitamins: C, E and A, beta-carotene;
  • various inflammations caused by fungi, infections and non-infectious factors;
  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver failure;
  • congenital pragmatism, when part of the lower lip protrudes forward.

The initial stage of lip cancer

The initial stage of lip cancer
The initial stage of lip cancer

At the very beginning of the onset of cancer, the lips almost do not cause discomfort. The very first signs are mild discomfort while eating, itching, slight pain in the mouth and increased salivation. The chin lymph nodes become inflamed and mobile.

Then on the outer or inner surface of the lip appears a small lump with a rough surface or a small sore. If you peel off the crust, you can see small whitish bumps.

This is usually not alarming, because similar symptoms are characteristic of other, non-malignant, diseases of the oral cavity. And they are very similar to the manifestations of herpes, or "colds", as it is often called colloquially.

A person does not feel much pain: as long as the malignant process does not capture the periosteum and the bones of the lower jaw, painful sensations, as a rule, are not observed. At first, the patient feels almost as usual, without observing any changes.

But if the initial signs are left unattended, the disease begins to progress according to a well-known scenario. New symptoms gradually join. The neoplasm grows, the lymph nodes become denser, the lip loses its mobility and seems to grow together with the jaw. Eating is difficult, general health worsens. The tumor can grow rapidly, for example, with cancer of the upper lip. And it can develop over the years.

Recovery projections

Already the first symptoms, according to experts, should force the patient to immediately see a doctor. Cancer of the lip, detected in the early stages, when the tumor is limited to the mucous and submucous layer, is very treatable. For this, various methods are used: cryotherapy - at the first stages, surgical techniques - at later stages, radiation and chemotherapy.

According to statistics, when choosing effective methods in the first and second stages, the disease is completely cured in 98% of patients. And even at the fourth stage of the disease, a person can be completely cured in 44% of cases.

On the subject: Other treatments

In the total volume of all malignant tumors, lip cancer occupies a small proportion - only about one and a half percent. But at the same time, today it is considered one of the most common cancers among men of mature age.


The author of the article: Bykov Evgeny Pavlovich | Oncologist, surgeon

Education: graduated from residency at the Russian Scientific Oncological Center. N. N. Blokhin "and received a diploma in the specialty" Oncologist"

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