What are the Different Lip Cancer Symptoms?

Meshell Powell

Lip cancer is a disease in which abnormal cancer cells grow uncontrollably on one or both lips. This is a relatively rare form of cancer and tends to be easy to treat as long as it is diagnosed in its earliest stages. Common lip cancer symptoms include the development of a lump on the lip, bleeding from the lip, or swelling of the jaw. Treatment for lip cancer may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgical intervention.

Swollen glands in the neck could be symptoms of lip cancer.
Swollen glands in the neck could be symptoms of lip cancer.

The presence of a lesion or sore that does not heal is often one of the earliest lip cancer symptoms. The sore may begin to bleed from time to time, although this is not always the case. The sore may then develop into a thick discolored lump. If there are any changes to a sore that develops on the lips, a doctor should be consulted right away.

Mouth pain and bad breath are symptoms of lip cancer.
Mouth pain and bad breath are symptoms of lip cancer.

Strange lip sensations such as unexplained pain or numbness may be lip cancer symptoms. This is a special concern if the lump on the lip has begun to change in size or color. It is important to note that some patients do not experience pain of any kind among their lip cancer symptoms.

Abnormal moles may be a sign of cancer.
Abnormal moles may be a sign of cancer.

Swollen glands in the neck may also be among the possible lip cancer symptoms, especially later in the course of the disease. As the cancer cells continue to grow and spread, the cancer can move into the lymph glands, causing the cancer cells to travel throughout the body. If the cancer spreads into the rest of the body, treatment becomes much more complicated.

Lip cancer may appear as lip sores.
Lip cancer may appear as lip sores.

Difficulty chewing or swallowing are relatively common lip cancer symptoms. This is often because of how closely interconnected the nerves of the face are intertwined. Swelling of the jaw may also develop as the result of pressure on surrounding nerves. Some patients may even start to notice voice changes. Often red or white patches may develop on the gums, tongue, or the lining of the mouth.

Loose teeth, bad breath, and mouth pain are other potential lip cancer symptoms. A sore throat that does not go away in spite of treatment attempts may be present in patients who have lip cancer. Any troublesome symptoms should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible. Lip cancer is treatable, and the patient has a very high chance of having a complete recovery when the cancer is diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages.

A persistent sore throat may be present in patients who have lip cancer.
A persistent sore throat may be present in patients who have lip cancer.

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Discussion Comments

burcinc

My dad had recurrent lip sores for several years. A sore would come up and wouldn't heal for months. His doctors did biopsies multiple times and the last biopsy he had diagnosed him with lip cancer.

He was diagnosed last week, he's going to have surgery for the cancerous part of his lower lip to be removed.

I'm sad, but I'm also grateful that the cancer was caught early.

bear78

@ysmina-- Yes, lip cancer is a type of oral cancer. Sores, blisters and lesions are the main symptom of both cancers. Oral cancer has some additional symptoms such as swelling, issues with chewing and swallowing. But lesions on the lip will also cause pain and discomfort when eating and speaking.

Treatments are the same as well-- chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

Sometimes oral and lip cancer is seen together.

ysmina

Are lip cancer and oral (mouth) cancer symptoms the same?

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