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How Do You Get Lip Cancer?

Lip cancer can be categorized in the group of oral cancer. Alcohol, tobacco, sun exposure, the (HPV) human papilloma virus, age, gender are some of the usual risk factors that increases the chances of getting lip and oral cancers. As per the research of American Cancer Society, among nearly 26, 000 new oral cancer cases that are diagnosed annually in the United States, around 10 to 15 percent are lip cancer. Considering this statistics, a question arises that “how do you get lip cancer? Answering this question can get a bit tricky for doctors as well, since there are no definite causes of this cancer.


The particular cause of cancer is not clear, but multiple factors such as use of tobacco and alcohol are linked with its progression. Squalors cells are present on the lip covering and are potential cells to develop this cancer. However, there are some other types of cell in the lip that may convert into cancerous cells. Another rare case is when the cells from other body parts move into the lip area. When these cells become cancerous on the lip, they are metastases of other cancer and not the original lip cancer.


Here are some lip cancer symptoms and signs:

  • A lump or a cluster of lumps on lip, in the oral cavity, inside the throat or on the tongue
  • Noticeable white and red spots around the lips or mouth
  • Loosening of teeth
  • Sore in the lip that doesn’t cure
  • Difficulty in eating, chewing and swallowing
  • Ear ache
  • Sever chronic pain and itching
  • Swelling on lips
  • Discoloration of the lumps
  • Hoarseness
  • Painful jaws
  • Bleeding around or inside the oral cavity
  • Oral pain

Although these symptoms may rise usually due to some other medical condition, still they need to be shown to the doctor.

Risk factors of cancer

As a part of cancer awareness, you should be aware about how do you get cancer? There are several factors that elevate one’s possibility of developing lip cancer. Risk factors of this cancer may involve:

  • Heavy use of alcohol or regular use of alcohol
  • Male gender
  • Age above 40 years
  • Oral sex, which may develop HPV infection around the oral area
  • Large exposure to sunlight
  • HPV infection (Human papilloma virus)
  • Use of tobacco ( chewing and snorting)
  • Chronic exposure to certain chemicals such as sulphuric acid, asbestos and formaldehyde.

How to reduce the risk factors of cancer?

Individually, tobacco and alcohol contribute to the potency of getting this cancer. The risk may increase if they are used in combination. Some risk factors of lip cancer are adaptable. You can possibly decrease your risk of cancer by following the certain steps.

To reduce your risk of HPV infection, avoid unprotected sexual contact.

  • Avoid extreme exposure to sunlight
  • Quit use of tobacco products and alcohol
  • Use sunscreen while going to direct sun exposure

Source by Alina Kapur

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