Lip cancer


Lip cancer is a type of mouth (oral) cancer commonly found on the lower lip, although can occur on either upper or lower lip. Most of lip cancers start at the squamous cells located at the middle and outer layer of the skin which is why it is called squamous cell carcinoma.


Lip cancer may include the following signs and symptoms:

  • Lip discoloration
  • Lip sore, ulcer, lump, or blister that does not heal
  • Bleeding lip
  • Swollen jaw
  • Pain, tingling and numbness of the lips or the skin around it.

If these symptoms persist, consult a doctor.  


The cause of lip cancer is unclear but generally, cancer begins when the DNA of the cells mutate and divide rapidly forming a tumor and causing the healthy cells to die. The tumor may grow and spread to nearby tissues so called metastasis.

Risk factors

 The following are risk factors that may develop into lip cancer:

  • Using tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, etc.)
  • Heavy alcohol drinking
  • Constant sun exposure
  • Having a fair skin
  • History of sunburn
  • Age: over 40 years old
  • Gender: Male are more susceptible than female
  • Compromised immune system
  • Having Human Papillomavirus Virus (HPV)
  • Personal or family history of skin cancer
  • chronic ulcer