Lip Cancer

What is Lip Cancer?

Lip cancer is one of the most common types of oral cancer. Lip cancer is the growth of abnormal cells that form tumours and lesions on the lips. Most oral cancers, including lip cancer, are generally a result of tobacco and alcohol consumption. Other reasons may include sun exposure and tanning. It starts in the squamous cells that are thin and flat, and forms the lining of the lips and mouth. It is easy to cure lip cancer if diagnosed at an early stage. This type of cancer is prevalent among men. Certain behaviour and lifestyle choices influence the risk for development of lip cancer.

A dentist is usually the first person who can diagnose lip cancer. It is essential to treat it immediately, or else it can spread to the mouth, tongue, and other body parts. The earlier the cancer is diagnosed and treated, the easier it is to completely remove it. Lip cancer is highly curable as high visibility of lesions on the lips results in earlier detection.

Symptoms of lip cancer

The symptoms and signs of lip cancer are:

  • Painful or bleeding lips.
  • Swollen jaw.
  • A lesion, ulcer, lump, blister, or sore in the mouth.
  • White or red patches on the lips, tongue, gums, or in the lining of the mouth.
  • Continuous pain in the mouth.
  • Persistent sore throat.



causes of lip cancer

The most common causes of lip cancer are:

  • Tobacco intake.
  • Consumption of alcohol.
  • Too much exposure to sun.


Risk of lip cancer

Major risk factors are:

  • Men are more susceptible to the disease.
  • People above the age of 40 are likely to develop the disease.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
  • Smoking.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • Light coloured skin.
  • Exposure to direct sun rays.


lip cancer prevention

To prevent lip cancer you need to:

  • Avoid too much exposure to sun rays.
  • Use sunscreens to block harmful radiations.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Reduce consumption of alcohol.
  • See your dentist regularly.
  • Regular brushing and flossing.

How is Lip cancer diagnosed

A physical examination of the mouth and lips is the first step towards diagnosis. The neck is also examined to check for swollen lymph nodes. The specialist will also ask for your health history an...

How is it treated?

There are numerous treatment options and therapies to remove or minimize lip cancer. At Medanta, our doctors may employ:


  • Surgery

    In case of a small tumour, surgery may be performed to completely remove the affected tissues. A cosmetic or functional reconstruction of the lips may be required post-surgery.


  • Immunotherapy


    It involves using body’s immune system to fight cancer cells.

  • Chemotherapy

    In this method, anti-cancer drugs are used to destroy the cancer cells.


  • Radiation therapy

    For larger tumors, a combination of surgery and radiotherapy is generally effective. Radiotherapy helps remove any remaining cancer cells and also reduces the risk of the cancer recurrence. It involves using high energy waves to kill cancer cells.

  • Gene therapy

    In this procedure, the doctor inserts a gene into the body of the patient to fight cancer cells, instead of using drugs or doing surgery.

When do I contact the doctor?

You should consult a doctor at the earliest, if you observe symptoms such as bleeding of the lips or lesions in the mouth with persistent cough and pain in the mouth. An immediate treatment is necessary to prevent the cancer cells from spreading to other regions of the body.

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How does Medanta provide care?


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