Diagnosis

Tests and procedures used to diagnose lip cancer include:

  • Physical exam. During a physical exam, your doctor will examine your lip, mouth, face and neck to look for signs of cancer. Your doctor will ask you about your signs and symptoms.
  • Removing a sample of tissue for testing. During a biopsy, your doctor will remove a small sample of tissue for laboratory testing. In the laboratory, a doctor who analyzes body tissue (pathologist) can determine whether cancer is present, the type of cancer and the level of aggressiveness that's present in the cancer cells.
  • Imaging tests. Imaging tests may be used to determine whether cancer has spread beyond the lip. Imaging tests may include computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET).
March 22, 2017
References
  1. AskMayoExpert. Head and neck cancers. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  2. Head and neck cancers. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Nov. 7, 2016.
  3. Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. Cancer of the head and neck. In: Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 7, 2016.
  4. Riggin ER. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 19, 2016.
  5. Bagheri SC, et al., eds. Lip cancer — Ablative and reconstructive surgery. In: Current Therapy in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 29, 2016.