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Cancer of the Lips and Paralysis

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.

Diseases of the lips – Trauma, Fissures, Leukoplakia

Trauma. The lips, in plain sight and the center of much activity during life, usually have suffered bruising, biting, chafing and often a cut or two. Aside from scar formation and possible mild deformity which would result, trauma to the lips heals quickly and is seldom serious. Severe lacerations of the lips obviously requires surgical repair.

Cracked and Fissured Lips. Cracking of the lips, with deep fissure formation frequently results from exposure to sunlight and cold, and can be very painful and smile-preventing. It is seldom serious and heals quickly when protected with pomade or skin cream.

Cracking in the corners of the mouth in adult people often indicates ariboflavinosis, a vitamin B deficiency. When the cracking accompanies malnutrition or disease resulting from an inadequate diet, healing of the corners of the mouth usually responds readily to an adequate diet containing sufficient vitamin B.

Leukoplakia. A milky-colored coating, of a slightly thickened nature on the wet inner aspect of the lips, is the appearance of leukoplakia, considered to be a pre-cancerous condition. It can occur in other areas of the mouth, besides the lips, and is often associated with the use of tobacco in any of its forms. Leukoplakia conditions call for ceasing the use of tobacco and usually the removal of these lesions by surgery or cautery. Mouth cleanliness also becomes a matter of concern, and routine oral hygiene becomes imperative.

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