Overview

Lip cancer occurs on the skin of the lips. Lip cancer can occur anywhere along the upper or lower lip, but is most common on the lower lip. Lip cancer is considered a type of mouth (oral) cancer.

Lip cancer risk factors include excessive sun exposure and tobacco use — particularly pipe smoking. You may reduce your risk of lip cancer by protecting your face from the sun with a hat or sunblock, and by quitting smoking.

Treatment for lip cancer usually involves surgery to remove the cancer. For small lip cancers, surgery may be a minor procedure with minimal impact on your appearance.

For larger lip cancers, more extensive surgery may be necessary. Careful planning and reconstruction can preserve your ability to eat and speak normally, and also achieve a satisfactory appearance after surgery.