Anyone can get cancer but there are certain factors which increase the chances of getting cancer. Lip cancer is generally considered as the cancer of oral cavity and is loosely put in the category of skin cancer. Further, the odds of getting cancer in old age are high when compared with the people at young age. Lip cancer is one of the most occurring cancers of the oral cavity and if diagnosed early, has very high chances of survival. The disease is easily identified due to its occurrence at highly visible location. Lip cancer occurs when the cells grow in an uncontrollable manner and forms the lesions on the lips. Lip cancer can occur both on the upper and the lower lip, but the occurrence is more common on lower lip.

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Can You Get Lip Cancer?

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Can You Get Lip Cancer?

The answer to the question, whether someone can get lip cancer, as like getting other cancers, is not straight forward. Rather, it seems that various contributory factors are involved in the development of cancer or sometimes there seems no risk factor and yet the person contracts cancer. However, by analysis of the various statistical data and the habits of the people with such cancer, various risk factors can be outlined, which are most dominant for development of cancer such as sun exposure, inflammation, viral infection, smoking among others. The idea is to keep a distance from these factors or habits involving such factors in order to reduce the change of getting lip cancer.

The risk factors for the lip cancer includes smoking (especially pipe smoking) and tobacco, radiation, inflammatory processes, viral infection, occupation of fishing, traumas, alcohol consumption, and immunosuppression.

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Smoking (Pipe smoking) and Tobacco: Pipe smoking was one of the important risk factors in the growth of tongue cancer. Later on, it was found to be a contributing factor in lip cancer. Pipe smoking contains the chemicals, which are known carcinogens, and increases the risk of lip cancer along with other cancers such as lungs, and throat. It has been found that majority of the cancer of oral cavity occurs in those people who smoke cigarettes or pipes.

Radiation: Sun exposure is the well-established risk factor for growth of lip cancer. Although the lips are heavily exposed to the sun radiation, yet they are very well ignored as a potential site for cancer. Further, since the lower lip is more exposed as compared to the upper lip, they are more prone to lip cancers. This theoretical approach has been confirmed by the actual data analysis. Further, lip cancer occurred more in males as compared to females. The people who are in the profession of fishing are consistently exposed to the radiation and are more likely to develop lip cancer when compared to people who are not in such profession.

Inflammatory Processes: The prolonged inflammation process on the lips can also contribute in the development of lip cancer. One such inflammation is in the disease called Actinic cheilitis. It is a chronic inflammatory condition of the lips and has the potential to develop in to carcinoma. It may be due to the high sun exposure, but the signs are seen in the older age when the damaged is accumulated over years.

Viral Infection: Although the viral infection does not cause the cancer directly, but increases the risk of getting cancer in certain patients. Further, various viral infections occur due to compromised immune system.

Trauma: The chronic trauma involving mucus resulting from the implants and dentures as well as sharp teeth also increases the development of oral cancer. It is due to the fact that persistent irritation to the mucosal cell damages the incorporated DNA and its information of cellular apoptosis. This may lead to the development of cancer.

Further, as discussed above, this may lead to chronic inflammation at the site of damage and release of various inflammatory mediators. These mediators, when exposed consistently, may damage the DNA and its internal information.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: October 15, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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