Lip cancer: Incidence, trends, histology and survival: 1970-2006

R. Czerninski*, A. Zini, H. D. Sgan-Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Background High levels of lip cancer have been reported among Israelis over the last four decades. Epidemiological descriptions and analyses for this region have not previously been presented. Objectives To establish the incidence, trends and histology of lip cancer and associated demographic variables in Israel over time. Methods Data for 1970-2006 were derived from the Israel National Cancer Registry. Incidence and trends over time and analyses by lip site, sex, age, origin, histology and 5-year survival were studied. Results Of 4337 new cases, most were found among men (61·4%), people aged over 53 years (75·5%), and those with lighter skin (62·6%). Lip cancer cases were 40 times more prevalent in the external than in the inner lip. The dominant tumour type was squamous cell carcinoma at the external lower lip and intraoral lip mucosa (predominantly in men) and basal cell carcinoma (originating from skin) at the external upper lip (predominantly in women). Minor salivary gland tumours, melanoma and metastases were also reported. Slight increases in the trend of upper lip cancer and decreases for lower lip cancer were reported. Conclusions Men, fair-skinned individuals and those over 53 years of age were at higher risk for lip cancer. A higher incidence of external lip cancer, compared with internal, may indicate a major role for sun exposure rather than smoking. The effect of public awareness campaigns as well as occupational changes, both related to sun exposure, should be studied carefully as potential factors in the changing incidence of lip tumours.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1103-1109
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Epidemiology
  • Lip cancer
  • Squamous cell carcinoma


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