Statistics at a Glance

At a Glance

Year Rate of New Cases — SEER 9 Rate of New Cases — SEER 13 Death Rate — U.S. 5-Year Relative Survival — SEER 9
Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend
1975 2.43 2.42 - - 0.09 0.09 91.25% 93.53%
1976 2.31 2.35 - - 0.08 0.09 94.62% 93.55%
1977 2.10 2.27 - - 0.09 0.08 96.07% 93.56%
1978 2.42 2.20 - - 0.09 0.08 92.25% 93.57%
1979 2.07 2.13 - - 0.07 0.08 97.86% 93.58%
1980 2.20 2.06 - - 0.08 0.07 88.99% 93.59%
1981 2.05 2.00 - - 0.08 0.07 91.96% 93.60%
1982 1.99 1.94 - - 0.05 0.06 91.20% 93.61%
1983 2.07 1.87 - - 0.07 0.06 88.47% 93.62%
1984 1.62 1.82 - - 0.05 0.06 91.13% 93.64%
1985 1.66 1.76 - - 0.05 0.06 95.62% 93.65%
1986 1.55 1.70 - - 0.05 0.05 95.20% 93.66%
1987 1.74 1.65 - - 0.03 0.05 98.59% 93.67%
1988 1.45 1.60 - - 0.04 0.05 92.97% 93.68%
1989 1.48 1.55 - - 0.05 0.05 93.13% 93.69%
1990 1.43 1.50 - - 0.04 0.04 95.13% 93.70%
1991 1.40 1.45 - - 0.04 0.04 95.94% 93.71%
1992 1.53 1.40 1.39 1.36 0.04 0.04 93.94% 93.73%
1993 1.36 1.36 1.22 1.30 0.04 0.04 96.58% 93.74%
1994 1.29 1.32 1.19 1.24 0.04 0.04 98.86% 93.75%
1995 1.28 1.27 1.11 1.18 0.04 0.03 95.65% 93.76%
1996 1.35 1.23 1.16 1.12 0.03 0.03 89.14% 93.77%
1997 1.19 1.20 1.10 1.07 0.03 0.03 91.99% 93.78%
1998 1.13 1.16 1.05 1.02 0.03 0.03 91.58% 93.79%
1999 1.10 1.09 1.05 0.97 0.02 0.03 92.35% 93.80%
2000 0.97 1.03 0.93 0.93 0.02 0.03 91.72% 93.81%
2001 1.01 0.98 0.90 0.88 0.03 0.03 90.64% 93.83%
2002 0.93 0.92 0.86 0.84 0.03 0.02 93.71% 93.84%
2003 0.91 0.87 0.81 0.80 0.02 0.02 98.68% 93.85%
2004 0.87 0.82 0.76 0.76 0.02 0.02 96.03% 93.86%
2005 0.74 0.78 0.67 0.73 0.02 0.02 96.31% 93.87%
2006 0.76 0.74 0.66 0.69 0.02 0.02 89.19% 93.88%
2007 0.71 0.70 0.67 0.66 0.02 0.02 94.46% 93.89%
2008 0.61 0.66 0.60 0.63 0.02 0.02 94.21% 93.90%
2009 0.65 0.66 0.60 0.63 0.02 0.02 88.03% 93.91%
2010 0.69 0.67 0.65 0.63 0.02 0.02 94.45% 93.92%
2011 0.63 0.68 0.57 0.63 0.02 0.02 98.85% 93.93%
2012 0.66 0.68 0.63 0.63 0.02 0.02 88.37% 93.95%
2013 0.78 0.69 0.71 0.63 0.02 0.02 88.77% 93.96%
2014 0.65 0.70 0.64 0.63 0.02 0.02 - 93.97%
2015 0.74 0.70 0.69 0.63 0.02 0.02 - 93.98%
2016 0.74 0.71 0.64 0.63 0.02 0.02 - 93.99%
2017 0.58 0.71 0.52 0.63 0.02 0.02 - 94.00%
2018 0.77 0.72 0.65 0.63 0.02 0.02 - 94.01%

New cases come from SEER 13. Deaths come from U.S. Mortality.
All Races, Both Sexes. Rates are Age-Adjusted.
Modeled trend lines were calculated from the underlying rates using the Joinpoint Trend Analysis Software.

New cases are also referred to as incident cases in other publications. Rates of new cases are also referred to as incidence rates.


5-Year
Relative Survival

90.9% 2011–2017

Rate of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The rate of new cases of lip cancer was 0.6 per 100,000 men and women per year. The death rate was 0.02 per 100,000 men and women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2014–2018 cases and deaths.

Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 0.1 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with lip cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2016–2018 data.

Survival Statistics

How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Lip Cancer?

Relative survival is an estimate of the percentage of patients who would be expected to survive the effects of their cancer. It excludes the risk of dying from other causes. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.

90.9%

5-Year
Relative Survival

90.9%

Based on data from SEER 18 2011–2017. Gray figures represent those who have died from lip cancer. Green figures represent those who have survived 5 years or more.

Survival by Stage

Cancer stage at diagnosis, which refers to extent of a cancer in the body, determines treatment options and has a strong influence on the length of survival. In general, if the cancer is found only in the part of the body where it started it is localized (sometimes referred to as stage 1). If it has spread to a different part of the body, the stage is regional or distant. The earlier lip cancer is caught, the better chance a person has of surviving five years after being diagnosed. For lip cancer, 83.7% are diagnosed at the local stage. The 5-year relative survival for localized lip cancer is 93.2%.

Percent of Cases & 5-Year Relative Survival by Stage at Diagnosis: Lip Cancer
Stage Percent of Cases 5-Year Relative Survival
Localized
Confined to Primary Site
84% 93.2%
Regional
Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
5% 64.9%
Distant
Cancer Has Metastasized
1% 32.6%
Unknown
Unstaged
10% 91.0%

SEER 18 2011–2017, All Races, Both Sexes by SEER Summary Stage 2000

New Cases and Deaths

Who Gets This Cancer?

Lip cancer is more common in men than women. Tobacco use, heavy alcohol use, and exposure to artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time are associated with this cancer. The rate of new cases of lip cancer was 0.6 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2014–2018 cases, age-adjusted.

Rate of New Cases per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity & Sex: Lip Cancer
Males
All Races 0.93
White 1.08
Black 0.11
Asian/Pacific Islander 0.11
American Indian/Alaska Native Not Shown, <16 cases
Hispanic 0.39
Non-Hispanic 1.01
Females
All Races 0.33
White 0.38
Black 0.04
Asian/Pacific Islander 0.07
American Indian/Alaska Native Not Shown, <16 cases
Hispanic 0.19
Non-Hispanic 0.35

SEER 21 2014–2018, Age-Adjusted

Percent of New Cases by Age Group: Lip Cancer
Age Range Percent of New Cases
<20 0.1%
20–34 1.3%
35–44 2.9%
45–54 11.9%
55–64 22.6%
65–74 25.9%
75–84 21.7%
>84 13.6%

Lip cancer is most frequently diagnosed among people aged 65–74.

Median Age
At Diagnosis

69

SEER 21 2014–2018, All Races, Both Sexes

Who Dies From This Cancer?

For lip cancer, death rates increase with age. Men are more likely than women to die of this cancer. The death rate was 0.02 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2014–2018 deaths, age-adjusted.

Death Rate per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity & Sex: Lip Cancer
Males
All Races 0.03
White 0.03
Black Not Shown, <16 cases
Asian/Pacific Islander Not Shown, <16 cases
American Indian/Alaska Native Not Shown, <16 cases
Hispanic 0.02
Non-Hispanic 0.03
Females
All Races 0.01
White 0.01
Black Not Shown, <16 cases
Asian/Pacific Islander Not Shown, <16 cases
American Indian/Alaska Native Not Shown, <16 cases
Hispanic Not Shown, <16 cases
Non-Hispanic 0.01

U.S. 2014–2018, Age-Adjusted

Percent of Deaths by Age Group: Lip Cancer
Age Range Percent of Deaths
<20 0.3%
20–34 0.3%
35–44 1.1%
45–54 5.9%
55–64 15.6%
65–74 20.2%
75–84 24.8%
>84 31.8%

The percent of lip cancer deaths is highest among people aged 85+.

Median Age
At Death

77

U.S. 2014–2018, All Races, Both Sexes

Trends in Rates

Changes Over Time

Keeping track of new cases, deaths, and survival over time (trends) can help scientists understand whether progress is being made and where additional research is needed to address challenges, such as improving screening or finding better treatments.

Using statistical models for analysis, age-adjusted rates for new lip cancer cases have not changed significantly over 2009–2018. Age-adjusted death rates have not changed significantly over 2009–2018. 5-year relative survival trends are shown below.

Interactive Statistics with SEER*Explorer

With SEER*Explorer, you can...
  • Create custom graphs and tables
  • Download data and images
  • Share links to results

SEER*Explorer is an interactive website that provides easy access to a wide range of SEER cancer statistics. It provides detailed statistics for a cancer site by gender, race, calendar year, age, and for a selected number of cancer sites, by stage and histology.

Explore Additional Lip Cancer Statistics

More About This Cancer

Cancer and the Lip

Figure: Head and Neck Anatomy

Figure: Head and neck anatomy; shows paranasal sinuses, nasal cavity, pharynx (including nasopharynx, oropharynx, and hypopharynx), oral cavity, tongue, salivary glands, and larynx.

Figure: Oral Cavity Anatomy

Figure: Oral cavity anatomy; shows lip, gingiva (gum), teeth, hard palate, soft palate, uvula, tonsil, retromolar trigone, buccal mucosa (lip and cheek lining), tongue (front two-thirds), and floor of mouth.

The lip is an organ on the outside of the mouth. Lip cancer occurs when cells in the lips or mouth grow abnormally forming a cancerous (malignant) growth or tumor. Lip cancer is a type of head and neck cancer.

Lip cancer usually starts in squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells that line the lips. Cancer may then spread into deeper tissue as the cancer grows.

Signs of lip cancer can include a sore or lump on the lips.

Additional Information

More Information

Here are some resources for learning more about tongue cancer.

References

All statistics in this report are based on statistics from SEER and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Most can be found within SEER*Explorer.

Suggested Citation

All material in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.

SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Lip Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/lip.html

These stat facts focus on population statistics that are based on the U.S. population. Because these statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. To see tailored statistics, browse SEER*Explorer. To see statistics for a specific state, go to the State Cancer Profiles.

The statistics presented in these stat facts are based on the most recent data available, most of which can be found in SEER*Explorer. In some cases, different year spans may be used.

Estimates of new cases and deaths for 2021 are projections made by the American Cancer Society (ACS), based on earlier reported data.

Cancer is a complex topic. There is a wide range of information available. These stat facts do not address causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care, or decision making, although links are provided to information in many of these areas.