Lip Cancer: Symptoms and Signs
The cancer that most often affects your mouth is considered to be lip cancer. You are strongly recommended to visit your doctor if you are prone to having this type of cancer. Here, it is important to point out that those who smoke or spend a lot of time in the sun without using lip balm have a higher risk of having the disease. If you visit your doctor once you start noticing the very first symptoms and the disease is diagnosed on its early stages, the disease is successfully cured in 90% of all cases.
This type of cancer starts to develop in the thin flat skin cells. Then, it gets deeper affecting other areas of your lips as the cancer progresses. The very first symptom to pay attention to is an irritation that makes your lips look as if they are chapped. Those who smoke, drink alcohol, spend a lot of time in the sun and use mouthwash that contains alcohol should pay a special attention to the way their lower or upper lips look.
One more symptom that occurs almost in the very beginning of the cancer is a sore on your lip that doesn’t disappear after one or more weeks. It may be numb and painful to touch. There may appear crusty patches on your lips and the sore may bleed. You are to examine your lips and mouth carefully in order to check if there are any suspicious lesions. If you see any, tell your doctor about them.
If there is a lump on your lip or your lip has become thicker than it was before, you need to go to your doctor. This is unless this lump or thickening doesn’t disappear after a week or more. The area that’s become thicker or where there is a lump may be numb or painful to touch. The same symptom may occur if you have benign or non-malignant tumors. Your doctor will tell you to undergo a biopsy and other necessary examinations to find out what is the cause of them.
Pain or Numbness
Actually, in the very beginning of the disease, there may be no symptoms apart from your lip being numb or painful to touch. If there appear any painful sensations in your jaw, gums, tongue and the lining of the mouth, it may mean that the disease has already started attacking other areas. If there are painful sensations in the lymph nodes located in the jaw or neck or if you notice that these lymph nodes are swollen, it means that the cancer has developed metastasis.
If the cancer has already invaded the lymph nodes or close to them areas, it means that your caner is already on stage III or IV. The stage is defined according to the extent of metastasis. Since these are the advanced stages of the cancer, you’ll need a more radical treatment than if you’re dealing with the stages I or II. The reason for it is that when it’s about the first or the second stage of the cancer, your head and neck are not yet affected.