Lump On Lip: Could It Be Lip Cancer?

If you have a lump on lip you might wonder if it’s lip cancer. It can be a cancer tumor or other growth like cold sore, canker sore, or allergic reaction. It’s important to know the signs, causes and treatments.

Woman checking lump on lip

Are you worried your lump on the lip is lip cancer? Studies show that about 0.6% of the world now has cancer. If you lump/bump on your lip then it’s important to know what the cause is, and whether it’s benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). There are several causes of such lumps including cold sore, canker sore, and allergic reactions. These are just some of the many possible causes besides lip cancer. This can be caused by various factors like bacteria, viruses, and disease. It’s critical to know the real cause of your lip lump/bump so you can get the best treatment possible.

Lip cancer involves cancerous tumors on the lips or the area surrounding the mouth. It’s the second-most common cancer in the head/neck area and only skin cancer is more common. While the lip area is one of several areas on the face it’s important to take any lump/bump seriously since it could be cancer. That said, you also shouldn’t think automatically that it’s cancer. It might be cancer or one of many other possible causes. As always a doctor needs to check things out so you can have peace of mind by knowing what’s causing the growth.

What Exactly Is Lip Cancer?

Lip cancer is a health condition that involves cancerous tumors on the lips or the area of soft tissue around the mouth. Lip cancer is usually round in the most sensitive skin areas surrounding the mouth on the upper/lower lips.

Sometimes cancer also includes deep mouth layers. That includes the gums, soft tissues, nerve/muscle cells, and neck.

In many situations, cancer appears as a tiny lump/tumor area on the lip that stays on the lip. It’s also possible for lip cancer to start as a change in the color of the lip tissue. When these symptoms start showing up a cancer doctor needs to give a checkup. He/She will likely order tests.

Health experts aren’t certain about what causes lip cancer and several other types. However, they do know that there are various genetic, lifestyle, and environmental facts that can trigger various kinds of skin cancer.

Various factors seem to increase the chance of lip cancer. They include alcohol/smoking/drugs, exposure to chemicals, bad nutrition, and lack of exercise. If you avoid these factors there’s a greater chance you can avoid lip cancer.  

Various factors can increase the risk of lip cancer. They include alcohol, tobacco, and age (45+ years old). Taking care of health and avoiding such behavior can help to prevent the risk of lip cancer.

It’s possible to treat lip cancer if it’s detected early. There are various ways that lip cancer is detected. The patient might notice some small lumps around the mouth, which could turn out to be lip cancer. In other cases, the growths are detected during regular checkups.

Lip cancer is usually treated with chemotherapy/surgery when it’s needed. This involves removing cancer cells. The goal is to prevent cancer cells from spreading to other body parts. Besides treatment for lip cancer, the doctor will likely recommend changes in oral hygiene and lifestyle.

Lump on Lip: Other Possible Causes

Canker Sores

These are small ulcers that can form in areas like lips, cheeks, tongue, and gums. Canker sores usually form in kids and young adults. However, they can also keep showing up during a person’s life.

Cankers sores usually are painful but can’t be passed on to others. Triggers can include mouth injuries, stress, and foods like:

  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Peanuts
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

These sores usually disappear within about one week.

Oral Cancer

Sometimes this is a cause of lip bumps. This cancer can show up as a tumor on the lips or mouth linings. There are various risk factors including alcohol, smoking, UV light, etc. Early symptoms include tiny sores/lumps on the lips. They can spread to other areas of the mouth including gums and tongue. They sometimes change color from white to red.  

Allergic Reactions

This is a reaction to a particular substance/allergen. This can cause lip inflammation that causes a small bump. There are various triggers including food, dander (pets), and some lipsticks with harsh chemicals like titanium.

Allergic reactions usually cause fast lip swelling. However, it usually disappears soon.

Hand, Foot, And Mouth Disease

This is a viral infection that can trigger lip bumps. HFMD includes symptoms like sore throat/mouth, loss of appetite, and red spots in the mouth that become painful sores. HEMD can easily be passed on to people but usually isn’t severe. The recovery time is usually about one week.

Cold Sore

This is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which is a common virus infection that can trigger cold sores on the lips and surrounding the mouth. These are tiny blisters that can be painful/itchy.

HSV can be passed on to other people. It’s also easy to be infected if you contact the sores directly. These fluid-filled growths usually clear up within about a week.  

Top Treatments for Lip Lumps


When you have serious conditions like lip surgery then it’s important to consider all treatments, including surgery. This might be needed to prevent cancer cells from spreading to other body parts. Chemotherapy is another possible option, although it can cause serious side-effects.

OTC Pain Relievers

They can help to provide temporary relief for pain caused by sores, blisters, etc. They’re less likely to cause side-effects like prescription meds.

Saltwater Solution

You can rise a few times daily with this mixture of salt/water to deal with inflammation/irritation. This is a folk remedy that’s been used since ancient times and science shows that salt can help treat various causes of lip lumps.

Lip Balm

This can provide soothing relief for various lip bumps. Make sure to check the ingredients list and go with natural products. That can help to prevent unwanted side-effects that can make a bad situation worse. Some good options include aloe vera.

Oral Hygiene

You can follow some basic steps, including brushing 2/3 times per day, flossing once daily, and using mouthwash ½ times daily. This can help to prevent a lot of infections that can cause lip bumps. You should also replace the toothbrush after an infection has healed up.

Allergy Medicines 

Antihistamines might help with issues like allergic reactions. This can help to reverse inflammation reactions. There are various products on the market, like pills/creams, which can help you feel better. It can be tough to deal with allergies, but certain medicines can help to deal with the condition.


Doctors might prescribe treatments for various infections. These include antibiotics and anti-fungal medicines. The one the doctor prescribes is based on the particular condition you’re experiencing. For example, it’s important to consider whether bacterium, fungus, virus, etc. is causing a lump on the lip.

Lump On Lip

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