Skin cancer on the lip…

Two weeks ago, I showed this patient’s skin cancer on the lip as an example of a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) on his lip. The cancer was removed and the pathology showed that it was a basal (not squamous) cell carcinoma (BCC). It is actually relatively unusual to have a BCC on the red part of the lip. A SCC is far more common in that site.

From the patient’s point of view, it is certainly much “better” to have a BCC than SCC (if you were to get a choice of cancer !). Whilst a BCC can have long roots and be quite destructive to the local area, a BCC almost never spreads to other organs (metastasis) and becomes a life-threatening problem. On the other hand, a SCC has a significant risk of metastasis, especially when it occurs on the lip. More later…

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