Clinicopathological study of carcinomas of the lip and the mucosa of the upper and lower lips
Background. Lip carcinomas are rare oral tumors, and there have been few reports of lip carcinoma in Japan.
Methods. Of 914 patients with oral carcinomas treated between January 1980 and December 1998, 12 (1.3%) had lip carcinoma and 5 (0.5%) had lip mucosal carcinoma. We investigated the clinicopathological features of these 17 patients.
Results. Of the 12 patients with carcinoma of the lip, 10 had squamous cell carcinomas (9, external lower lip; 1 commissures) and 2 had mucoepidermoid carcinomas (external upper lip). Of the 5 patients with lip mucosal carcinoma, 3 had squamous cell carcinomas (2, mucosa of the lower lip; 1, mucosa of the upper lip), 1 had mucoepidermoid carcinoma (mucosa of the lower lip), and 1 had acinic cell carcinoma (mucosa of the lower lip). Of the 12 patients with lip carcinoma, 9 were classified as stage I, 2 as stage II, and 1 as stage III; all 5 of the patients with lip mucosal carcinoma were stage I. Five patients with lip carcinoma were treated by resection, 5 by a combination of resection and reconstruction, and 2 by radiotherapy alone. All patients with lip mucosal carcinoma were treated by resection. After the initial therapy, 3 patients without neck dissection had regional recurrences and received delayed neck dissection, and 2 died with neck regional recurrence after dissection. The 5-year cumulative survival rates of the patients with lip carcinoma and those with lip mucosal carcinoma were 82.5% and 80.0%, respectively.
Conclusion. We suggest that early-stage carcinomas of the lip and of the mucosa of the upper and lower lips are frequent, and we found that the outcome of these patients was excellent. However, an aggressive therapeutic approach to the lip carcinoma patient with cervical metastasis appears warranted, in an attempt to improve locoregional control and ultimate survival.
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