Long-term outcome and subjective quality of life after surgical treatment of lower lip cancer
Squamous cell carcinoma of the lower lip represents a common type of cancer with a favourable prognosis. Different types of defect reconstruction after ablative surgery are described for maintenance of patients’ quality of life.
Materials and methods
The study retrospectively evaluates the outcome of 105 patients treated for lower lip cancer. Oncological data as well as individual quality of life were investigated.
Cervical lymph node metastases rarely occurred (7.6 %) and were correlated to larger-sized tumours (p = 0.041). Only five patients (4.8) died related to the tumour disease, especially after lymph node metastasis and tumour recurrence (p < 0.001). The 5-year rates for recurrence-free, overall and disease-specific survival were 84.5, 61.2 and 93.9 %. Tumour recurrence correlated with a resection margin of less than 0.75 cm (p = 0.089). With view to postoperative quality of life, the modified Bernard-Fries technique showed the most unfavourable results, particularly referring to sensibility, paraesthesia, lip pursing and mouth opening compared to a stair-step and/or Abbe reconstructions.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the lower lip shows a very favourable prognosis. Neck dissection seems often negligible particularly in small tumours. Patients’ functional quality of life after lip surgery depends on the size of the primary and the used technique. Stair-step and/or Abbe reconstructions should be preferred to a Bernard-Fries technique in comparable defect sizes.
Proper treatment of lower lip cancer provides favourable prognosis and preserves patients’ functional and aesthetic quality of life.
KeywordsLip cancer Resection margin Lymph node metastasis Reconstruction technique Quality of life
Conflict of interests
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
- 4.Shah J, Patel S, Singh B (2012) Lips. In: Jatin Shah’s head and neck surgery and oncology (Fourth Edition.). MosbyGoogle Scholar
- 10.De Visscher JG, van den Elsaker K, Grond AJ et al (1998) Surgical treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the lower lip: evaluation of long-term results and prognostic factors—a retrospective analysis of 184 patients. J Oral Maxillofac Surg Off J Am Assoc Oral Maxillofac Surg 56:814–820, discussion 820–821CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 17.Salgarelli AC, Bellini P, Magnoni C et al (2011) Synergistic use of local flaps for total lower lip reconstruction. Dermatol Surg Off Publ Am Soc Dermatol Surg Al 37:1666–1670Google Scholar
- 19.De Palma AT, Leavitt LA, Hardy SB (1958) Electromyography in full thickness flaps rotated between upper and lower lips. Plast Reconstr Surg Transplant Bull 21:448–452Google Scholar