Lip cancer is the most common form of oral cancer, and affects mostly men. There are two types of lip cancer: squamous cell and basal cell. The most common type of lip cancer begins in the squamous cells, the thin, flat cells that line the lips and mouth. Lip cancer symptoms are very similar to those of other types of oral cancer. It can often be mistaken for a cold that won’t go away, or a persistent toothache.
Other symptoms and signs include, A sore in the mouth that does not heal, Persistent mouth pain, A lump or thickening in the cheek, A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth, A sore throat or feeling that something is caught in the throat that does not go away. Surgery is often the first treatment option for lip cancer that has been detected at an early stage. Surgery can also be part of a treatment program for advanced-stage cancer.
A population-based survey was conducted in 35 municipalities in Northern Finland to assess the incidence of lip cancer as well as the patient and tumour characteristics in cases diagnosed between 1983 and 1997. A total of 96 new patients emerged. The age-standardised incidence (per 100,000 years) of lip cancer in men decreased from 4.8 in 1983-1987 to 1.4 in 1993-1997. The incidences in women were 0.30 to 0.36, respectively. The median age of the patients increased from 66 to 73 years through the years. Overall, 90% of the patients had at least one of the known risk factors, namely rural domicile, outdoor occupation or smoking.