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Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2004

My husband has a place on his lower lip. A little more than two months ago
he went to Derm. and had it frozen, did not work. Went back and she took out some,
did not work. Went 3 & 4th time for more. First biposy showed a "wart" - last biopsy
showed squamous cell carcinoma. Our worry is it is not healing well, he is having
pain almost all the time and headaches also. We are taking him for MOHS tomorrow - and
hope for the best. Does anyone know any information we need to know, or how can they
tell if this has spread. From what I am reading this type on the lower lip has a great
tendancy to spread. Thanks you

Christine Louise
Posts: 428
Joined: Feb 2010

Mine was between upper lip and nose. MOHS was entirely satisfactory and, as far as I know, successful. Doctor has not even asked for follow-ups these past years. I'm sorry, I don't know about spread possibilities. I sure hope his surgery went well and your questions were answered.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi Boppa,

Five days ago my husband had an SCC tumor removed from his lower lip. His tumor was too large to make him a candidate for MOHS. He had standard surgical removal followed by plastic surgery to reconstruct his lip. He was home from the hospital two days later.

Once the tumor on his lip was discovered my husband was sent for a CT scan of his head and a PET scan of his entire body. The scans showed one malignant lymph node and three "suspicious" lymph nodes, all in his neck. The rest of his body was clean, thank God. The nodes were removed along with the tumor. He'll need a course of radiation once he fully heals from the surgery, but what type of radiation and for how long won't be known until the test results on the lymph nodes come in...which should be in a few days.

Once SCC hits the lymphatic system it's very easy for it to spread to other parts of the body. In my husband's case it was already suspected that one lymph node was involved because it was swollen and could be felt on his neck. (My husband waited almost a year before seeing a doctor because he believed all he had was a severely chapped lip that wouldn't heal...which, unfortunately, was plenty of time for the tumor to get it's hooks into his nodes.)

Every case is different. I don't know anything about your husband's cancer, but I think it's important to at least know for sure that your husband's lymph nodes are okay. If your husband hasn't had CT or PET scans I would definitely ask your doctor why he (or she) believed they weren't necessary.

Good luck to you both!

Anonymous user (not verified)

Hi Everyone,
I've just been diagnosed with early stage squamous cell carcinoma of my right lower lip as of May 3, 2010. They are recommending Moh's surgery. The Moh's surgeon will need to take about 1/2 of my lip, maybe more depending on what they see under the microscope. He described a vertical incision to remove just the tumorous area on the right side verses a whole lip shave (or vermillionectomy) because my entire lower lip is pre-cancerous. The left side had been having trouble with sores that wouldn't heal two years ago and was biopsed three different times, but it did not show any cancer at that time. After the removal of the whole lip they would then do a lip flap advancement, whereby they dissect the tissue on the inside of the lower lip and pull it forward or advance it, then stitch it to the border of my lower lip. This will result in a scar that runs horizontal along the lip edge. He also said if they did just the right side, he may need to do a vermillionectomy anyway. The Moh's surgeon is very experienced with cancer on the lip; they do about 300 cases a year! I live in S. Florida. I will meet with the plastic surgeon to discuss the operation more and to see what type of reconstruction will be best. If any one has any experience or thoughts that would be greatly appreciated.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi Cosimotto,

12 months ago I bit my bottom lip, which traumatised it and turned into an ulcer. I spent months trying to heal it and ended up going to the docs to find out it was an SCC. After that, I had to go to hospital specialists as I knew they were going to cut it out. I had my surgery in Dec 2010 by a very good surgeon who performed a Karapandzic Lip Rotation. I lost 2cm of my lip, thats how big this sucker was. I had neck scans which revealed no spread to lymph nodes, which I find amazing since it was on my lip for a good 12 months. I put this down to the use of Vaseline daily and constantly, it acts as a barrier for anything outside getting in. Even my specialist said to use it while I was waiting for surgery, so keep that in mind if you havent had surgery yet. The op has been very successful as far as having feeling, cosmetic use. I dont know much about Mohs, I only have a scar that runs under my chin in the fold up side of my mouth. It is not an ugly scar and it will fade. The point is to look after it while its healing. The only down point is your mouth is smaller to open, but you adjust. Better than being dead. I can even whistle etc. thats the beauty of this procedure. Healing time has been about 2 weeks, very very minimal chewing so it does not upset the stitches and mouth setting. The docs said that the SCC would have been there the whole time, so I guess I was meant to bite my lip to reveal it. I would rather have the scar and smaller mouth opening, (it stretches in time) than a very ugly life threatening tumour which will only grow and engulf your lip and life in time. Good luck with it, be interested to know if you had your op and your outcome. Cheers

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