Squamous cell carcinoma of lip

Squamous cell carcinoma of the lip accounts for 40-50% of all malignant oral carcinomas.  Over 90% of the time, the lesions occur as indurations or ulcerations in the right lower lip as depicted here and in the subsequent photomicrographs.

3-4cm indurated and ulcerated lesion occurring in the right lower vermillion border with some midline involvement.

Approximately 1cm ulcerated lesion located in the left lower vermillion border lateral to midline.  See SCC of tongue for histology.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common malignant neoplasm in the oral cavity. In particular, SCC of the lip accounts for 40-50% of all malignant oral carcinomas. It typically affects older men in their 50-90s. SCC most commonly occurs in the lip followed by the tongue and floor of mouth. Known etiologies include tobacco use (pipe smoking and chewing), alcohol, and exposure to UV light. SCC of the lower lip grows slowly and metastasizes to submental and submandibular nodes. However, the SCC of the upper lip metastasizes early to regional nodes. The prognosis and treatment of SCC depends on the histological grade of the lesion as well as the clinical staging (TNM classification), and the age of the patient. Treatment typically involves surgical resection with radiation therapy. 5-year survival rate is about 75%.