Squamous cell carcinoma is a form of cancer that can occur in different organs such as the skin, esophagus, lungs, cervix, prostate, mouth, and lips. Squamous carcinomas on the lip are often related to sun and wind exposure.
Who Gets It?
Fisherman, ranchers, farmers, golfers, linemen, miners, and other outdoor workers have a much higher incidence of Squamous carcinomas on the lip, as well as other exposed skin. Others will get this cancer because they are genetically predisposed to it.
A squamous carcinoma on the lip usually starts as an ulcer that wont heal where the middle third and outer third of the lower lip meet. Sometimes an area thats not healing and remains raw, may be non-cancerous to start with but turn cancerous over time, and other times they are cancerous to begin with.
What Are The Treatments?
Squamous carcinoma has many treatment options. It can be frozen, cauterized, or burned off. It can also be treated with radiation, acid creams, and other ointments, and solutions. The most direct method of treatment is surgery and it also has the highest success rate.
Surgery on Squamous carcinomas on the lip is performed on an out patient basis using either a local when you are awake or a general anesthesia where you are asleep, depending on your situation and your surgeon. If the cancer is removed when things are small the change to the lip will hardly be noticeable.
In more extreme cases of Squamous carcinomas on the lip, reconstructive surgery can give you the best chance of removing all the disease and then rebuilding the lip. Plastic surgeons can do miracles in reconstruction the lip to not only look great but be fully functional.
Know The Statistics
In a small number of squamous carcinomas the cancer will have actually spread to the lymph glands on the neck. In these situations the lymph gland will also be removed called a neck dissection. It may also require radiation therapy. Your oncologist will decide what the right treatment is for you.
Squamous cell carcinomas makes up about 20% of all non-melanoma skin cancers while basal cell carcinoma accounts for the other 80%. Squamous cell carcinoma is more threatening because of its ability to metastasize.
It usually starts with the epithelial layer of the skin. It is common to the skin, lips, mouth, and throat, which is noticeable by the red scaly skin, and with Squamous carcinomas on the lip the ulcer or open sore is the give away.
Over 200,000 people in the United States develop Squamous cell carcinomas every year. It is caused by too much sun exposure as well as other elements of nature, smoking, radiation therapy, chronic skin irritants, inflammation of the skin, some genetic diseases, and exposure to known carcinogens.
You can protect yourself by thinking smart. Squamous carcinomas are on the rise. In fact the numbers are becoming worrisome. So why not use sunscreen, avoid carcinogens, stop smoking, and just take care of yourself?
See Also: Skin Cancer in Children