Lip Cancer Therapy

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Lip cancer can be treated very well with the help of therapies if the tumor is small in size. There are two types of lip cancer therapy available to treat this type of cancer. They can be given to the patients before or after surgery.

Radiation therapy

Lip Cancer Therapy This therapy is also called as radiotherapy. It is termed as a local therapy. This is a treatment which is given in the targeted area. The area where the cancerous cells are present and a bit of the surrounding healthy tissues are treated. This therapy is beneficial to treat any of the small tumors present in the body. This can be an alternative to treating small tumors without surgery. This lip cancer therapy can also be used before performing the surgery as it can be used to minimize the volume of the tumor. It can also be used after surgery to destroy cancer cells that may remain in the area.

The main reason for the use of this therapy is that it will kill all the cancerous cells which are present in that particular area because it uses a lot of high beam rays. There are two types of radiation therapies:

  1. External radiation therapy: In this type of therapy, the high energy rays will be emitted to the body with the help of a machine.
  2. Internal radiation therapy: This therapy is also called as internal implant. This is a method of treating the cancer by placing a radioactive substance into seeds or needles and then placing it in the infected area.

What are the side effects that one goes through after this therapy?

The side effects of radiation therapy most of the time depend upon the amount of radiation that is given to the patient. Many a times, it is observed that most of the side effects which are present in the mouth go away with the treatment, but not all. Many a times, the side effects stay in for a long duration, causing a deep amount of discomfort.

Radiation therapy may cause any of the following or all of the following side effects

  1. Dryness in the mouth: When an individual faces the problem of a dry mouth, all the activities such as eating, swallowing, talking etc become very difficult for him/her. One needs to consume a lot of water so that the mouth remains moist. One needs to find substitutes for saliva to keep the mouth moist.
  2. Tooth decay: Radioactive therapy can cause a lot of problems of tooth decay. A good oral hygiene can help to avoid this issue.
    • Doctors usually suggest that people should brush their teeth in a gentle manner and also use a soft bristle brush. They should use fluoride toothpaste and a soft tongue cleaner. This activity should be done after every meal and before sleeping. If it still hurts, one should use warm water instead of cold to gargle and clean the mouth.
    • The dentist will also suggest you to rinse your mouth with a solution made of teaspoon baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt in one cup of luke warm water.

  3. Sore mouth or throat: This therapy causes a lot of ulcers which are very painful and big. The doctor will suggest some medicines which are meant to lower the pain. The one way of lowering the pain is that one can use warm water to rinse the mouth and throat so that it gets numb for a while and pain also becomes less.

  4. Problems with the teeth fit or dentures: The fit of the teeth may change after one has undergone this therapy. If anyone wear dentures, it will be difficult for him to manage because of the sores present on the lips. The dentist will replace the dentures after the whole treatment is over.

  5. Stiffness in jaw: While undergoing a lip cancer therapy, it is observed that many a times the cancer has spread in the whole oral cavity. While undergoing radiotherapy the muscles of the mouth become stiff and this makes the jaw line to move slowly. There are various exercises which are given by the doctor to make the jaw movement correct.

  6. Changes in the color of the skin in treated area: Many a times, it is observed that the skin near the treated area becomes red or white. One should protect this area from exposure to sun. The men should avoid shaving in this area. Creams and lotions must also not be applied here.
These side effects are very painful and most of the times cause large amount of discomfort but they can be treated very well or at least controlled by the doctor's help.


Chemotherapy is also a cancer therapy which uses anti cancerous drugs for the treatment. This therapy can be given by passing the drug via the veins or muscles in the body. This is a therapy which is given via injection and it travels to the infected area. The dosage will decide whether this therapy should be given at home or at the doctor's clinic. This therapy is cyclic in nature.

Side effects of this lip cancer therapy are as follows

Chemotherapy sessions are based on drugs. These drugs travel in the body and multiply on a fast pace.

  1. Cells that line the digestive tract: Chemotherapy can also cause poor appetite, vomiting and nausea. This also arises because of the sore on the lips and ulcers in the mouth.
  2. Cells in hair roots: Chemotherapy in most of the cases causes a lot of hair fall. This hair after growing back is mostly different than the original color and texture.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy both are the only two lip cancer therapy available in the medical field and they work very well pre or post treatment of lip cancer surgery. These therapies have a lot of side-effects but this will depend upon the dosage given to the patient and the stage at which the treatment was started.

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