Breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer are three of the most common cancers.
Did you know you can also have cancer on your lip? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF), lip cancer accounts for about 0.6 percent of all cancers in the United States. Light-skinned males over the age of 50 are most likely to develop lip cancer.
The most common symptom of lip cancer is a sore on the lips or inside the mouth. Other symptoms may include:
- a lump on the lips or a noticeable thickening
- painful or numb lips
- bleeding from the lips
- a red or white patch on the lips
- tightness in the jaw that results from swelling
Ok, this is all good information but what are some steps you can take to prevent lip cancer?
Wear a Wide Brimmed Hat
When it is boiling hot outside the last thing you want to do cover up, but you need to wear a hat with a wide brim. Wearing a wide–brimmed hat outdoors is great way to protect your hair, eyes, and skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
It also provides coverage for the neck and ears. Sun hats can be ordered in many different styles.
Use Sunscreen and Lip Balm
Sunscreen can be a real pain in the neck and a lot of people don’t like wearing sunscreen because it feels sticky. Remember this is for your health so you may have to put up with the inconvenience.
Purchase sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and don’t forget to reapply every two hours when outside and after swimming or sweating.
“SPF is important on your lips, even in the winter,” says Los Angeles-based board-certified dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse, MD. “Lips have thin skin with very little melanin, so they have minimal innate protection from aging and damaging UV rays. Use an SPF of at least 15.
Don’t Use Tanning Beds
I know you like to get that even tan in the summer so you will look super cool in your swimsuit. Tanning beds are popular but emit roughly 12 times more UVA than natural sunlight.
Schedule Regular Dental Appointments
Seeing your dentist is not on the list of fun things to do, but when you are trying to prevent lip cancer you need to do it. As a part of dental exams and cleaning, the dentist looks in your mouth for anything abnormal, and can suggest you see your doctor for follow-up. You want to catch cancer at an early stage so you can do something about it.
According to Stanford’s Children’s Health, smoking may increase your risk for more than 12 other types of cancer. Believe it or not, cigarettes contain more than 60 known cancer-causing agents.
Smoking is a hard habit to break so you may need some help. Talk to your doctor for a recommendation.
Try these tips and see which ones work for you. Cancer is a deadly serious disease and it needs to be identified and treated as soon as possible. If you notice any symptoms call your doctor immediately.