Lip Cancer Background
The risk of damage to our lips from the sun has been popularised by Australian cricketers wearing colourful creams for protection. Publicity which helps prevent unwanted issues.
Lip cancer is quite prevalent. UV rays from the sun are a primary cause, smoking, high alcohol consumption, or immune system issues additional factors. Whilst anyone can be affected by lip cancer, having fair skin and being older (more sun exposure) increase risk.
A pre cancerous condition called actinic cheilitis is quite common, typically bringing dry patches, or thickening of the lip. This needs to be identified and treated, to prevent the onset of more serious conditions
Your lower lip is more likely to be affected, because of higher sun exposure. Squamous, or basal cell carcinoma are the most common skin cancers seen on the lips, although more malignant types are possible, along with spread to other areas.
Established treatment, including specialist surgery, is available for more advanced lip cancers. Cure rates for early lesions on the lip are however close to 100%, seeking professional advice as soon as possible is an advantage.
Consultation & Diagnosis
Visiting a consultant dermatologist experienced in skin cancers is a logical route. Their knowledge is as essential as the latest diagnostic equipment, which we also ensure is available to our patients.
Examination under a dermoscope, a powerful hand help microscope can be valuable, confocal microscopy helps us see deeper. An advance which may eliminate the need for biopsies and where a lip cancer does require them, they will be taken with care.
Our philosophy is built on the principle of minimum intervention for maximum effect, applied to diagnosis as well as treatment. The need being to focus on accuracy and where a problem exists, the best solution.
Treating Lip Cancer
Lip cancer can range from an early stage issue needing to be halted, to a well developed cancer. All are treatable and cure rates are good, with an approach based on a multi-disciplinary team.
First stage issues can respond well to topical treatments, such as retinoids, fluorouracil cream, or imiquimod cream. Laser ablation and photodynamic therapy are established, non invasive approaches, with cryotherapy a further option.
Where lip cancer is more developed and surgery is the rational option, Mohs surgery is our preferred route. A specialist technique which removes only the essential amount of tissue, reducing cosmetic damage.
The team at our London clinics includes Mohs surgeons and staff experienced in all lip cancer treatments. To take forward a treatment plan which will be based on your unique diagnosis, on achieving a cure and delivered as care should be.
Support At Skin Care Network
Lip cancer, or the possible onset of this can be concerning. For all the skills on offer, the most important point any medical establishment should remember is to treat people well and keep them well informed.
All our staff are trained to do so but more importantly, chosen because they wish to help and understand. Neither will our support stop at a cure, with regular checks in the future and where required, specialist cosmetic support.
Skin cancer treatment in our London clinics is built on avoiding cosmetic damage but in a few cases, this can’t be avoided. For such a visible area, we make sure the best restorative surgery is also available, our specialist below is highly respected.
Curing cancer matters and so does the outcome. Skin Care Network are grateful for the services of a surgeon skilled in cosmetic reconstruction of facial tissue following cancer. Read more on:
Mr Jonathan Collier, Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon