GentleCure Blog

How Skin Cancer Appears on Lips

Skin Cancer on Lips

What does skin cancer look like when it appears on the lips? With skin cancer on the lip, symptoms often include sores or swelling around the mouth. However, your symptoms may vary depending on what kind of skin cancer you develop.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with skin cancer on the lip, we’re sure that you’ll have questions. Explore common causes, warning signs, symptoms, and treatment options with GentleCure, and talk to your dermatologist to find the right path forward today.

Skin Cancer on Lips: Causes 

The skin around your lips is very sensitive, consisting of some of the thinnest layers of skin on the entire body. Because of this, skin cancer on lips is more common than not, and can be triggered by a number of environmental stressors and habits, including:

  • Tanning or overexposure to sunlight
  • Smoking 
  • Excessive alcohol use 

Men are more prone to developing skin cancer on the lip, as women are more likely to wear protective lip balms or lipsticks with SPF. While sun exposure is a major contributor, the oral nature of tobacco and alcohol use put those who smoke or drink at higher risk.

What Does Skin Cancer on Your Lip Look Like? 

Skin cancer can appear on either the upper or lower lip. In most cases, it will appear on the skin-colored area of the lip, rather than the fleshy pink area. Some lip cancers may develop with few noticeable symptoms, but the disease can still be detected by either a dermatologist or a dentist. 

What does skin cancer on your lip look like? With most skin cancers on the lip, symptoms include:

  • A red or white patch on the lip 
  • Swollen jaw
  • Pain or sensitivity 
  • Bleeding 
  • A sore or lump that doesn’t fade away

Seeing a sore or blister on your lip does not automatically mean you have skin cancer. There are a variety of other unrelated bumps that can develop around the mouth, such as cold sores, acne, and more.

Still, if you have a sore that refuses to heal after a reasonable amount of time, it’s critical to have it checked by a professional as soon as possible. 

How to Treat Skin Cancer on Lip 

Skin cancer on the lip is very treatable, especially when it’s caught early. Depending on your diagnosis, you have options:

  • Mohs surgery: With this method, the cancerous tumor is removed by cutting it out of the skin using a scalpel. Surgery sees a very high success rate at eliminating lip cancer; however, those who pursue this treatment are often left with a scar. 
  • Chemotherapy: Intravenous drugs are administered to destroy the unhealthy cells. This method is only likely to be used in extreme cases where surgery is unable to completely remove the tumor. Chemotherapy typically has strong side effects. 
  • Radiotherapy: Image-Guided SRT uses targeted, low-dose radiotherapy to attack the cancerous tumor, weakening and eventually destroying the unhealthy cells with no risk of scarring and no interruptions to daily life. Radiotherapy is highly effective; this surgery-free cure for skin cancer generally produces minimal side effects, if any. 

GentleCure can help you learn more about the differences between Mohs surgery and Image-Guided SRT before you start a conversation with your healthcare provider.

Find Skin Cancer on Lip Treatment 

Surgery and chemotherapy can cause significant disruptions, and for many people who have been diagnosed with common forms of skin cancer, Image-Guided SRT is a better all-around option. To see how it works, call one of GentleCure’s skin cancer information specialists at 855-546-1887, and talk to your dermatologist about whether radiotherapy would be a viable way to treat your skin cancer on the lip.