Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is one most common skin cancer. Squamous cell cancer generally appears in the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) as an unchecked projection due to the growth of abnormal cells.
It results in mutation in cells called Keratinocytes. On a positive side (if such thing can be said about this disease!), Squamous Cell Cancer is not a contagious type of disease.
Facts About Squamous Cell Cancer
Do You Know The Causes?
Mostly SCC occurs on the injured or inflamed part of the skin. SCC occurs when the skin is exposed to the sunlight or other Ultra Violet Rays and damages the DNA along with its repair arrangements thereby creating mutations in the tumor-suppressing genes.
People belonging to all the age groups have the chance of getting this cancer. Other risky factors which cause SCC include Smoking, Thermal Burn Scars, and Longstanding Leg Ulcers, Immunological disorder from drugs such as azathioprine or ciclosporin and specifically in organ transplant recipients
Are You Aware of Symptoms?
The most common symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma are the change in skin appearance such as a new growth or sore that will not heal. SCC of the skin starts as a tiny tubercle and magnifies, the centre turns necrotic and exuviates and becomes an ulcer.
Squamous carcinoma cancer can grow in any parts of the body including inside the mouth, on the anus and the on the genital parts of both men and women. The most common appearance of squamous cancer includes ulcer or reddish skin plaque that grows slowly.
Usually, the tumor occurs as an ulcerated lesion with hard, erected edges or as a rigid nodule on the face, lower lip, ears, neck, hands or arms that may bleed at times. An ulcer or flat white patch inside the mouth, the tumor commonly occurs in the sun exposed areas.
When To Consult Your Physician?
Whenever you find any of such abnormal symptoms mentioned above on your skin, you should immediately consult your physician without delay. An early diagnosis and treatment will cure SCC easily.
The doctor will diagnose the SCC by biopsy of suspicious looking lesions. Treatment regime is decided based on the size and stage of the SCC.. The squamous cell carcinoma will be treated by surgery.
In case of low risk carcinoma it is treated by Cryosurgery by freezing with liquid nitrogen. In Curettage and Electrodessication method cancer cells are removed from affected area with the curette instrument.
After that, cancer cells are dried up by desiccation. Mohs surgery is done on delicate areas including nose, eyes, ears and lips where tiny layers of cells are removed off one by one till clearing the cancer cells. Radiotherapy is done only in rare cases.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
Mostly squamous cell cancer can be prevented. In order to prevent we need to acquire some preventive measures to protect ourselves from SCC. Schedule your outdoor activities accordingly to avoid traveling in noontime sun. This will protect you from absorbing UV rays.
Use Sunscreen year-around to escape from UVA and UVB type of radiations. Avoid using tanning beds which emit UVA rays and cause cancerous lesions. Some of the common prescriptions and powerful drugs cause the skin more tender to damage by sunlight.
So we must be aware of this factor during intake of drugs and they must always be taken under physician’s advice. Test your skin regularly if you find any new growth or changes.