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Actinic Cheilosis: Etiology, Epidemiology, Clinical Manifestations, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Course Number: 400


SC represents the early clinical manifestations of a continuum that may ultimately develop into SCC of the lip. It shares the same etiology with AK and cutaneous SCC of the skin. Thus, labial SCC differs from other forms of intraoral SCCs. The only proven method of reducing the risk of developing SC is to reduce exposure to the harmful effects of UV radiation. Patients should be advised to avoid unnecessary sun exposure and to consistently use a broad-spectrum sunscreen when outdoors.

The issue of how to effectively diagnose SC is a major clinical challenge. A combined diagnostic-therapeutic approach may offer the best solution to this dilemma. Complete surgical excision is the favored treatment modality. Lesions that are not amenable to surgical excision must have a random biopsy followed by the most effective treatment to eradicate the disease. Surgical specimens must undergo serial sectioning and histologic evaluation.