Lip cancer: first symptoms and signs, photo of the initial stage

Serious disease, lip cancer is rare, and for its possible cure should pay attention to its onset in the earliest stages - only in this case there is hope for a successful outcome. This disease is a visual manifestation of some conditions that stimulate the formation of a cancerous tumor on the surface of the lip.

Types and forms of the lip cancer

Being infrequent, but quite aggressive, this disease manifests itself as the transformation of the cells of the lip at the place where it passes into the mucous membrane.

Malignant cell degeneration is usually observed on the lower lip, the cancer of the upper lip occurs less frequently.

This type of cancer is squamous. Its classification is made by types, the following types of lip cancer are distinguished:

  • keratinizing - its growth rate is very small, it does not metastasize infrequently, it is rarely ulcerated;
  • non-corroding - this type grows rapidly, often and at an early stage, metastases are formed.

In its forms, lip cancer can be divided as follows:

  1. ulcerative;
  2. warty;
  3. papillary.

What are the causes of the onset and development of this disease?

Causes and risk factors

When treating malignant and life-threatening diseases, lip cancer does not appear on its own almost never - it is preceded by a specific cause. And the most common causes of this disease include the following:

  • permanent airing of the red border of the lips - it is the most susceptible to external influences;
  • frequent and abrupt change of ambient temperature;
  • micro-burns that can occur as a result of smoking, as well as chewing tobacco smoking and smoking pipes;
  • gastric diseases;
  • metabolic disorders;
  • is a bad habit of biting the lips;
  • deficiency in the body of vitamins, especially group B, C, E.

. Among the main causes of lip cancer, there are a number of factors that can stimulate the production of malignant cells in the lip epithelium.

These risk factors can be identified in a separate subcategory - here they are divided into risk factors that stimulate the onset of cancer, as well as facultative, that is, without the transition of the lesions of the lips to malignant tumors.


This kind of condition can subsequently cause a cancerous condition. These include primarily focal dyskeratosis and various types of papilloma. Also here include diffuse dyskeratosis, erythroplasty and keratocanthoma.


These conditions do not necessarily cause malignant formation and do not always lead to the development of cancer.

This includes:

  • cheilitis;
  • frequent formation of cracks on the surface of the lip;
  • flat lichen in its flat form;
  • is a frequently occurring lip ulcer.

These conditions occur frequently and can lead to their degeneration into a cancerous disease. However, because of finding this zone on the face, its detection is faster, and therefore the prognosis of this disease can be considered one of the most likely positive - early diagnosis allows you to start treatment sooner.

Effect of smoking?

The most common cause of cancer of the lips is considered to be smoking.

Also, when smoking a person who smokes cigarettes or a tube, inhales many harmful carcinogenic compounds, while also contacting these substances with the mucous membrane of the lips. This factor, in conjunction with the temperature effect of smoking and the frequent occurrence of micro-trauma red lip rim and may become one of the frequent causes of cancer.

We list the main manifestations of this disease.

Symptoms and first signs of

The location of the lips on the face allows you to notice the changes occurring with them in time. For this reason, the diagnosis of the disease can be made faster and in a short time the treatment is started.

It should be noted that is the first sign of the development of cancer on the surface of the lip that can become the appearance of an imperceptible seal at first sight on the lip of , small cracks. Be sure to pay attention to any changes in the external state of the lips - it is in this case that a complete cure at an early stage of the disease is likely.

Also on the border of the connection of the lip with the mucous membrane there may be small in size seals, which do not cause severe soreness when palpating. Sores that, when pressed, can give off a small amount of the syphilis should also attract attention - such a manifestation may also have an initial stage of the cancer of the lip.

The photo clearly shows what the initial( 1) stage of the lower lip cancer

looks like. To the signs, which may serve as a reason for going to the doctor, you should also include:

  • increased salivation;
  • slight soreness in the area of ​​the lips and mucous in this area;
  • appearance of roughness on the surface of the lips;
  • cracks and sores are even small in size, which appear even without an external stimulus;
  • itching, burning in the lips;
  • unusual and unpleasant sensations in the process of food intake.

These signs do not necessarily indicate the onset of cancer. They are often similar to other types of lip disease, which are not so serious and pose a danger to the life of the patient. However, a visit to the doctor will help to understand what kind of disease you are experiencing.

The initial stage of

At the onset of the disease, there may be such manifestations as slight or pronounced swelling of the lip or cheek, painful sensations both at rest and when eating, and also the lip increases in size.

Gradually the process deepens and it becomes impossible to eat, the pronounced cyanosis of the color of the mucous membrane of the lips appears, and also hoarseness of the voice arises with a subsequent decrease in the mobility of the jaw.

Due to the above symptoms, the patient quickly loses weight, increases fatigue, worsens the general condition.

How does lip cancer develop?

With the gradual deepening of the process, lip cancer can cover an ever larger area of ​​the lip and the adjacent mucous membrane, spontaneous spontaneousness occurs due to the impossibility of tightly closing the mouth, there is an increase in the body temperature of the patient.

The transition from the first stage of cancer to the next can last for a fairly long time, but with the development of the cancer manifests itself more actively. For this reason, early diagnosis helps to cope better with the disease.

The picture shows stages 1, 2 and 3 of the lip cancer

Later stages of the development of the disease appear in the formation of metastases that penetrate the lymph nodes of the neck. More distant metastasis is not observed often, but in the absence of treatment, cancer cells can penetrate even into the bone tissues of the spine and skull.

Photo depicting lip cancer of the 4th stage


Diagnosis of the disease in the early stages allows to guarantee complete stop of the disease and prevention of its development. What are the diagnostic methods used for lip cancer?

The diagnostic methods used to determine the cancer of the lip and its stage can be conditionally represented by the following list:

  • as an initial diagnostic method, external examination of the affected lip and mucosa is used. For this purpose, a magnifying glass can be used for a more detailed study of the skin surface;
  • palpation - allows to determine the degree of soreness and allocation of the syphilis or pus from the available ulcers;
  • takes part of the tissue for research - this method is called a biopsy;
  • X-ray examination of the lymph nodes of the neck and skull;
  • ultrasound of the abdominal and thoracic parts of the patient, sometimes an x-ray of the teeth is done.

For a more detailed study, a lymph node biopsy and cytological puncture are performed.

After diagnosis, after the analysis of the general condition of the patient, a method of treatment is appointed, which will allow to quickly stop the development of the disease.

Treatment of

The most commonly used treatment methods are the following:

  1. Radiation Therapy is performed by exposing the lymph nodes of the neck and affected tissue to the lips. The effectiveness of this method is high enough, it allows to stop the process of metastasis to the lymph nodes;
  2. cryogenic method - liquid nitrogen is used to stop the growth of the number of cancer cells;
  3. photodynamic method - this method of treatment is the introduction of special substances that are deposited in cancer cells and the subsequent exposure to them by a laser for the purpose of destruction;
  4. chemotherapy - this method is based on the use of special chemicals on life-threatening cells of a cancerous tumor;
  5. plastic lip - this technique is used in the event that for the removal of cancer, a surgical procedure was performed with the removal of part of the lip. The purpose of this method of treatment is to restore the aesthetic perception of the lips.

Preventive measures

The measures to prevent this disease include first of all the conduct of a healthy lifestyle, the exclusion of such a harmful habit as smoking, as well as providing your body with the necessary substances for its normal functioning.

A careful attitude to the condition of the lips, the reaction to the formation of cracks and ulcers on their surface, all this will avoid the appearance and development of cancer on the surface of the lips.

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