Jane Fonda has spent a lot of time in the spotlight recently thanks to the promotion of the upcoming fourth season of her Netflix series, Grace and Frankie, and who can forget her plastic surgery spat with Megyn Kelly back in September? We’re still replaying her #girlpower response in our heads.
Now the 80-year-old actress is making headlines again, but this time it’s not for her show. Fonda was photographed this week (see them here) in New York with bandages on her bottom lip as she was heading to an AOL BUILD Series event. Assuming the audience would inquire about her temporary look, Fonda made a statement upfront: “I just want to explain the bandage. I just had a cancer taken from my lip. I thought it was going to heal in time before I came before you, but it’s fine. I just want to explain it. I don’t normally go around like this.”
Fonda took to Instagram as well, using her humorous side we all know and love to make light of her procedure. Her caption: “With Lily in NY. I’ve found a clever way to disguise my lip bandages from removal of cancer.”
You don’t often hear about skin cancer on the lips, but according to Washington, DC dermatologist Tina Alster, MD, two of the most common forms of the disease, basal and squamous cell carcinoma (BCC and SCC), can appear there.
“The lower lip is approximately 12 times more likely to be affected than the upper lip due to its greater exposure to sunlight,” explains Dr. Alster. “Given their highly visible location, the majority of lip cancers are easily detectable and treatable at an early stage.”
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So how can you tell if it’s lip cancer and not a pimple on the edge of your lip or a cold sore? “Most skin cancers on the lip appear as a red bump or scaly piece of skin that bleeds and/or develops a crust,” Dr. Alster says. “If you have any lip lesion that doesn’t heal, make sure to get it evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist.”