Skin cancer on the lips is especially dangerous and you need to know that. Lip skin is fragile, can’t really protect itself from UV rays and lip cancer can be surprisingly aggressive. It’s also not uncommon. Lip cancer usually develops in the thin, flat cells called squamous cells that line the lips and other areas of the mouth. Lip cancer from squamous cells is referred to as squamous cell carcinoma. Melanoma, which is more aggressive than squamous cell carcinoma, can also develop on the lips.
What is lip cancer?
Lip cancer develops from abnormal cells that grow out of control and form lesions or tumors on the lips. Lip cancer is a type of oral cancer. It develops in thin, flat cells — called squamous cells — that line the:
- hard and soft palates
What does skin cancer on the lip look like?
- A sore that won’t go away.
- A white patch or a scaly patch.
- A split that won’t heal from what you think is chronically-chapped lips.
- An ulcer.
- A raised nodule or lump.
Dr. Vitaly Blatnoy at the Orlando Dermatology Center recommends using a lip balm with at least SPF 15 sunscreen when going out into the sun. This helps protect the more fragile and sensitive skin on your lips. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and if detected early, has a high success rate for removal. Unfortunately, since the lips are such a fragile location, the downtime and recovery time could take much longer than if melanoma is found on other parts of the body.
If you are feeling a sore or raised lump on your lip contact the Orlando Dermatology Center immediately to schedule a consultation. Our offices in Lake Mary, Oviedo, and Waterford Lakes are fully equipped to biopsy, diagnose, and remove skin cancer throughout your body using the best state-of-the-art dermatology technology available.
Squamous cell skin cancer is unique as it:
A: Can spread very quickly.
B: Is almost solely caused by exposure to sunlight. This means it is very easily preventable.