Lip cancer is a form of oral cancer. A recent study has found that a worrying 75% of the British public do not know what the signs and symptoms of lip cancer are. If caught early, lip cancer can be treated successfully so an early diagnosis is essential.
Signs to look out for include:
- Open sores.
- Visible changes to the skin on the lips.
- A red patch that becomes crusty, itchy or bleeds.
- Lumps or wart-like growths.
- A pale or white skin area that looks similar to a scar.
There are certain lifestyle choices that can increase your risk of developing lip cancer. These factors include:
- Sun exposure
- Alcohol use
- Tobacco use
Due to climate change and the depletion of the ozone layer (the layer that absorbs the harmful rays radiated by the sun), the risk is only going to get worse so it is vital that you are aware of how to reduce the likelihood of developing lip cancer.
Alcohol and tobacco use are also risk factors. People who drink three to four alcoholic drinks a day are twice as likely to develop mouth cancer than those who do not. The risk increases by two or three times when tobacco use and daily alcohol consumption are combined.
The Oral Health Foundation reports that “up to 90% of all mouth cancers are linked to lifestyle factors”, so it is vital that you regulate your alcohol consumption. It is also reported that smoking can increase your risk of oral cancers by up to ten times, so now would be a good time to quit!
Also try to apply protective SPF lip balm daily, even on a cloudy day. to protect your lips from the UV rays from the sun.
It is vital that you attend regular check ups with your dentist to look out for the signs and symptoms. Here at Newby Dental Practice we complete a routine oral cancer screening at every dental check up, contact us to book your appointment now. If you require any further information or advice, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01723 670500