Squamous cell skin cancer is usually seen in those who are regularly exposed to hash sunlight. Cancerous changes begin after any kind of inflammation or after any kind of skin injury. Squamous cell skin cancer occurs in individuals more than 50 years of age.
The earliest form of squamous cell skin cancer is known as the Bowen’s disease. At this stage the cancer cells are not invasive in nature. This disease is characterized by the appearance of patches on the skin which generally are red and scaly and which appear crusted.
Individuals who are prone to the squamous cell skin cancer are:
-Those individuals who are exposed to lots of x-rays.
-Individuals with a light skin color, blonde hair.
-Continuous exposure to sunlight.
-With age the risk increases.
This kind of skin cancer is very fast spreading in nature. Also the cancer shows a low rate of metastasis.
A lump may be felt which generally appears red and firm. The surface of the lump may appear rough and scaly.
This lump can be located anywhere in the body but is frequently seen in the face, neck, ears and the hand area.
A non healing sore can be a sign of a squamous cell skin carcinoma.
Also any kind of color changes in the existing mole or any other lesion seen on the skin should be looked for as it can be one of the early signs of the skin carcinoma.
The suspicious area will be thoroughly checked by the doctor. He will study the size, the color, the surface texture of the concerned area.
If the doctor believes the suspicious area to be cancerous then a biopsy is taken of the affected area which is then studied under the microscope.
The treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin depends on a number of factors such as the stage of the cancer, the location also if it has spread to the other organs in the body, the general condition of the patient etc.
-Excision of the tumor is commonly done in most cases. Where the affected area is excised and the normal skin is then sutured back together.
-Cryosurgery is done by which all the cancerous cells are killed.
-In cases where the cancerous area is not too deep or not to large, the best mode of treatment is electrodesiccation or a simple curettage.
-Photodynamic therapy is used in some cases.
-In cases where the cancer cannot be treated by surgery, radiation therapy is recommended.
-In cases where the cancerous lesions are present on the face or the neck areas, a special type of surgery is performed called the Mohs surgery. In this type of surgery the surface of the skin is excised layer by layer and studied under the microscope. This process is carried out until no cancer cells are seen under the microscope.
Prognosis of the squamous cell skin carcinoma is good in most cases if the cancer is detected on time before metastasis of the cancer cells has taken place.
Metastasis of the tumor cells can take place which may need a more aggressive form of treatment.
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