Symptoms of lip cancer include sores, lesions, ulcers, lumps on the mouth or swelling of the jaw. Bleeding, pain, and red or white patches on the lips can also be signs of lip cancer, says Healthline.
Some cases of lip cancer may not have any signs or symptoms and may be recognized by a dentist during a regular exam. Sores and lumps are not definitive signs of cancer, but should be discussed with a doctor, according to Healthline.
Lip cancer is primarily caused by use of tobacco products. Excessive alcohol use and exposure to the sun are other common causes, claims Healthline. The use of tanning beds can also cause cancer. Lip cancer is the most common type of oral cancer.
Lip cancer is treated with surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Investigative treatments such as immunotherapy and gene therapy are occasionally used depending on the stage of the cancer, the size of the tumor and the patient's health. Smaller tumors are usually removed with surgery, reports Healthline. Larger tumors are reduced with radiation and chemotherapy. Treatment outcomes improve for patients who quit smoking before radiation treatment.
Lip cancers are often curable because they can be detected at early stages. After treatment, the survival rate without recurrence is greater than 90 percent, according to Healthline. Patients recovering from lip cancer should schedule routine doctor appointments as they have a increased risk of developing a second cancer in the head, neck or mouth.