Squamous Cell Carcinoma
What is squamous cell carcinoma?
Squamous cell carcinoma is a skin cancer that affects the middle and outer layers of the skin. It can occur in many places across the body, but it typically affects the places that see the most sun exposure.
What are the symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma?
Symptoms of this cancer include red nodules on the skin, flat sores, new sores on old scars, scaly patches on the lips, sores on the inside of the mouth, and sores on the anus and genitals.
There are complications of this cancer, as it can spread to other parts of the body and damage healthy tissue. While it is not typically fatal, it is important to seek treatment.
What causes squamous cell carcinoma?
UV rays are the most common cause of squamous cell carcinomas, but there are other risk factors. These include fair skin, excessive sun exposure, a history of sunburns, tanning beds, a history of skin cancer or precancerous skin lesions, a weakened immune system, or rare genetic disorders like xeroderma pigmentosum.
How is squamous cell carcinoma diagnosed?
A diagnosis comes after a physical exam, which is followed by a skin biopsy.
What are the treatments of squamous cell carcinoma?
Minor surgery typically removes the carcinoma. Doctors may also prescribe a topical medication, laser therapy, photodynamic therapy, and cryosurgery. For larger carcinomas doctors will use simple excisions, Mohs surgery, and radiation therapy. If the cancer spreads beyond the skin chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, and immunotherapy are the options for treatment.
There are ways to prevent squamous cell carcinomas, such as avoiding excessive sun exposure and tanning beds, wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, and checking the skin regularly.