Overview of Lip Cancer

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Lip cancer is a kind of oral cancer that is noticeable in men. Often, it is the overlooked one and strikes men who are above 50 years of age. Due to significant exposure to ultraviolet sun rays, the lower lip has more risk of being affected with lip cancer. Gradually, the disease seeps into other parts of the body. Consumption of tobacco and alcohol are the other contributing factors of Lip Cancer. It becomes a painful procedure for the patient to engage in regular activities like taking food, moving the mouth and conversation.

Stages in Lip Cancer:
Lip Cancer surfaces in three ways, such as:
* Cancer attacks through tissue.
* Cancer strikes the lymph systems and transmits through lymph vessels to other parts in the body.
* Cancer assaults the veins and capillaries and transmits through blood to other parts in the body.

Symptoms for Lip Cancer:
The primary symptom of lip cancer is soreness on the lip that does not go away. Lumps or discolored areas too can be found on the lip. Also, the patient experiences bleeding and severe pain, numbness on the lip.

Risk factors of Lip Cancer:
Some of the risk factors that could result in lip cancer are:
* Oral sex
* Consumption of Tobacco and Alcohol
* Age (above 40)
* Sun exposure

Treatment:
Since lip being a visible area, a large number of lip cancers are easily identifiable and can be treated effectively provided it is detected in the early stage itself. The most widely employed treatment methods are:
* Mohs Micrographic Surgery: Surgery becomes inevitable option when there the patient is at an advanced stage of cancer. As part of the surgery, lymph nodes and other tissues from the neck portion are removed. In case malignant cells are found, further part of tissue from the affected portion is taken off.
* Radiation Therapy: This kind of therapy has the potential to destroy cancer cells in the body.
* Cryotherapy: This treatment is given in combination with drug cisplatin to be able to annihilate cancer cells in the body.

Complications involved in Lip Surgery:
If the lip cancer is left without being treated then it can have harmful effects on the individual:
* Changed physical appearance.
* The surrounding parts of the lip get affected leading to spreading of the disease to mouth, tongue and lower jaw bone.

Recurrence and Survival:
Though lip cancer has moderately low rates of spread to the surrounding lymph nodes and remote sites, still there is a higher possibility of the relapse of the disease and the percentage varies from 5-35 %. In such cases, the mortality rate of the individual is as high as 15%.

Risk factors:
* Using tobacco products.
* Heavy alcohol use.
* Being exposed to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time.
* Being infected with human papillomavirus (HPV).

Prevention:
It is vital to safeguard from the sun through a blend of sun avoidance and shadow-seeking. Also, regular application of a high-SPF lip block and careful monitoring the changes in skin will keep away the individual from being afflicted with lip cancer.

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