Oncology (General Cancer)/Actinic cheilitis


I have noticed over the past few months my husbands lips seem very dry and chapped. His symptoms come and go but my main concern is he experiencing Actinic cheilitis? He has regular oral cancer screenings and nothing has ever been said. If this is Actinic cheilitis can this be treated and should I be very worried? An this be cured and not become cancer? He does use smokeless tobacco and is 31. He has been in the sun a lot and I am sure Haden not always used sun block. He has an appointment in two weeks with a dermatologist but I find myself worrying a lot. Thanks.


I think the picture is not quite good enough to be sure, but what I am seeing isn't normal.  Usually when someone has this, the best thing to do is to keep watching it closely, because if cancer does emerge, and it isn't always the case, it can be treated before disfigurement or spread.  I would certainly strongly suggest he stop using smokeless tobacco.  He's running a risk for something far more serious than lip cancer.  Your dermatologist should be batter able to make a diagnosis.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

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America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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