What are the symptoms of lip cancer?
Nowadays lip cancer is one out of 10 most spread oncological diseases mostly suffered by men. It is important to mention that villagers are more likely to get lip cancer than those people living in towns and cities.
The most frequently met causes of lip cancer are smoking and frequent traumas. Lip cancer is often caused by the following diseases:
- warty growths;
- postradiational stomatitis;
- erosions caused by cheilitis;
- group of diseases belonging to precancerous condition.
With men precancerous masses usually appear on the lower lip. Elderly women (60-70 years old) usually suffer cancer of the upper lip.
Symptoms of lip cancer.
The first symptoms of lip cancer are ulcers or masses, itch, pain, and unpleasant feelings while eating.
In some cases, involuntary salivation may appear. In case the mass grows bigger or spreads to the lower lip or cheek you should immediately consult a qualified cancer specialist.
During the first examination the doctor will see a rough mass covered with scab. You will feel nothing if you simply touch this scab. But if you try to remove it severe pain and bleeding are inevitable. Moreover, if you remove the scab you will see warty growths. After a while these warty growths will turn into knots looking like cauliflower. If a knot dies it is soon replaced by an uneven ulcer.
If a patient came to see the doctor suspecting lip cancer he will have to undergo a series of special tests - ultrasound investigation, X-ray examination of the jaw, lymph nodes of the neck and top section of the chest. The results of these tests will help to find metastases. These tests are followed by an ulcer scrape and puncture of lymph nodes (needed for cytological screening. In case the result is negative, biopsy of the mass on the lip will follow.
The most dangerous thing about lip cancer is the possibility of spread of metastases to lymph nodes. After a while lymph nodes will turn into bleeding infiltrates destructing the jaw. Moreover, metastases can appear on the tongue and bones.
Early stages of lip cancer without metastases can be treated with the help of cryogenic therapy or radioactive needles. Mind that the third and the fourth stages of lip cancer demand surgical intervention and further chemotherapy with a course of irradiation.