Cancer is a disease with uncontrolled cell division. There is embedded information in every cell to control the division of cell and when this information is distorted due to variety of reasons, the cell division is uncontrolled leading to cancer. There are certain cancers which are not diagnosed until the advanced stage and there are some which can are diagnosed due to early symptoms.
The cancer of the lip develops when the cells has uncontrolled division. However, due to its occurrence at a visible site, it is diagnosed at an early stage. Thus, it is said that lip cancer is diagnosed early and is very much treatable. Although it is not known what causes lip cancer however, by analysis of the habits, profession and other characteristics, various factors are identified. These factors, either in isolation or in combination, increase the risk of lip cancer. Thus, by reducing the exposure to these factors may significantly reduce the chances of contracting lip cancer.
Can You Prevent Lip Cancer?
There is no sure-shot way to prevent the occurrence of lip cancer, but there are certain tips, which if followed, reduce the chance of getting lip cancer. Following are the factors, reduced exposure of which can help prevent lip cancer:
- Smoking (especially pipe smoking) and Tobacco: Smoking, especially pipe-smoking increases the risk of lip cancer. The carcinogens present in such substances changes the cellular formation and the cells undergo continuous division without apoptosis. Same is the case with chewing tobacco as it also contains carcinogens. Thus, to reduce the risk of lip cancer, these things must be avoided. Longer the smoking is done, higher the chances of lip cancer. Further, drinking alcohol in higher quantity also increases the chances of lip cancer. So, either completely stay away from alcohol or at the least drink in less quantity.
- Sun Exposure: Sun exposure is an independent risk factor for the development of lip cancer. Those people who are in such a profession that requires higher exposure to sun radiations are comparatively at greater risk. It can be analyzed from the fact that majority of lip cancer occurs on the lower lip because they are more exposed to solar radiations as compared to upper lips. This is due to the fact that there is less concentration of melanin on lips. Thus, the lip cancer may be significantly avoided by preventing the lips from the harmful radiations. The best method for protecting lips is by applying an appropriate sunscreen. The appropriate sunscreen means having an SPF which effectively blocks the harmful effect of sun on the lips. Further, the other way may be by avoiding too much sunlight.
- Prolong Inflammation: Prolonged inflammation also increases the risk of getting cancer. Thus, the person having any such inflammation should consult with a medical practitioner and take appropriate treatment. Actinic cheilitis is a chronic inflammatory condition of the lips and has the potential to develop in to carcinoma. By reducing chronic inflammation on lips, a chance of getting lip cancer reduces.
- Trauma: Any consistent trauma in the oral cavity increases the chances of getting cancer. Conditions such as loosely fitted implants and dentures as well as sharp teeth also increase the development of oral cancer. Thus, the person should consult immediately when there is any trauma in the oral cavity as this may damage the DNA and release inflammatory mediators which in turn increase the risk of oral cancer.
- Viral Infections: Viral infections also increase the chances of lip cancer. Thus, the person should either go for vaccination or take the proper treatment for viral infection.
As there is no settled principle for how a person develops cancer and thus there is no way for its complete prevention. The occurrence of cancer may be attributed to a series of events ultimately leading to the distortion of cellular information. Lip cancer may not be complete prevented but risk can be significantly reduced by avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol, protecting from sun exposure, treating chronic inflammation, reducing trauma, and treating the viral infections.
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