Cancer of the lips. Any sore, crack, ulcer or other type of lip lesion that persists for over two weeks, could be a lip cancer. This disease sometimes results from chronic irritations of objects such as nails, hooks or pipes in the mouth, and to excessive exposure to sunlight. Cancer of the lip has one characteristic feature about it-it does not heal completely. It is well to remember that lip cancer, like cancer everywhere, is usually small in its beginning, but unfortunately, is often allowed to reach large proportions before medical aid is sought. Good judgement is
Fig. 24. Cancer of the lip begins as a wart-like thickening, followed by an open sore. It is most often seen in men and usually in the lower lip. Thought to be partly caused by biting, irritation, sunlight and pipe-smoking, it is one of the most common sites for cancer in the body.
over-ridden by the hopeful thought that somehow the lip sore will go away by itself. Happily, malignancies of the lip can be adequately treated. X-ray therapy and surgical procedures combined, enjoy a marvelously high rate of cure. Only the long-standing and neglected malignancy in the lip grows beyond the point of probable cure.
Lip Paralysis. Inability to move the lip through certain normal functions such as puckering, compressing the lips, smiling or loss of sensation about the lips, usually means some or all of the muscles controlling the lips are paralyzed. Such situations occur in facial paralysis, strokes of short or long-standing, and in several other complex nerve diseases. These difficulties should quickly be brought to the attention of the physician for early diagnosis and proper treatment.
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