LifestyleContracting skin cancer following a unique lip-enlargement method

Contracting skin cancer following a unique lip‑enlargement method

A 64-year-old woman shared her story.
A 64-year-old woman shared her story.
Images source: © Facebook

10:37 AM EST, November 21, 2023

Pauline, a 64-year-old woman, discovered a peculiar spot on her lips that she initially disregarded as being herpes. However, when the spot began to expand, she received a shattering diagnosis - skin cancer. Doctors have not ruled out the possibility that the cancer may have been triggered by her previous lip enlargement procedure, which involved a relatively unknown method.

Pauline first became aware of the dry spot on her lip in August 2020. She initially dismissed it as a benign irritation. Realizing that the lesion was not healing a month later, she scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist.

Despite her attempts to apply various medicated ointments prescribed by the dermatologist, there was no improvement. The doctor ultimately ordered a biopsy in November 2020. The diagnosis, delivered three weeks later, was devastating - squamous cell skin cancer.

More intricate tests revealed that the tumor was more advanced than initially assumed. The malignant tumor had already reached the inner part of her chin, warranting surgical removal.

Doctors found an unusual substance at the base of the tumor, which they "compared to lip filler," according to a report by the British newspaper "The Sun". Then the woman began to understand the potential cause of her issue.

Contracting Skin Cancer Following Lip Enlargement

Pauline had enlarged her lips several times using standard methods, like needles or cannulas. But in Spain, a friend convinced her to try a needleless lip-modeling procedure.

This innovative but relatively unknown technique involves injecting hyaluronic acid deep into the skin at high pressure. Many clinics promote this procedure as a painless and non-invasive option.

There are numerous factors that can lead to squamous cell skin cancer, such as smoking nicotine or excessive sun exposure. However, in Pauline's case, she firmly believes her lip enlargement procedure is to blame.

Pauline underwent an intricate surgery where her lower lip and a portion of her chin were removed and replaced with tissue from her tongue. The entire healing process spanned over a year. The British woman now warns other women about the potential risks of hasty cosmetic procedures.

"Consider your reasons for having these procedures and who you're doing it for. I am a mother to three sons, but if I had a daughter, I would never condone lip enlargement," Pauline mentioned to "The Sun".

"Sun Health" reporters contacted Dr. Toni Phillips, the director of a renowned British aesthetic medicine clinic, regarding this story. She clarified that there are no data from the past three decades suggesting a direct link between the use of lip fillers — injected using widely accepted techniques, namely needles or cannulas — and cancer.

"We have insufficient data on the safety of the needleless technique used in lip treatments. Therefore, I cannot comment on the potential risk of cancer associated with this procedure. However, I can confidently say that it will never be used in my clinic," she mentioned to "The Sun".
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