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Home :: Skin Cancer, Squamous-Cell

Skin Cancer, Squamous-Cell

Squamous cell skin cancer is a form of skin cancer that usually results from long-term damage to the skin by the sun. Squamous cell skin cancer spreads slowly, but if it is not treated early, it can spread to other parts of the body. Squamous cell skin cancer is most often seen on areas of the body that have been exposed to excessive sun. Often this cancer appears as a firm red bump or ulceration of the skin that does not heal. Squamous cell skin cancer can spread to lymph nodes in surrounding areas.

Causes

Rick increases with any of the following:

  • Excessive exposure to sunlight.
  • Overexposure to X-rays.
  • Light complexion.
  • Recent illness with chronic skin ulcers from any cause.
  • Repeated injury to the skin of athletes due to excessive perspiration, increased heat, friction of clothing and protective gear.
  • Age over 60.

Signs and symptoms

A small, disfiguring, scaling, raised bump on the skin with a crusting ulcer in the center. The bump doesn't hurt or itch.

Diagnosis

A suspected SCC, especially a non-healing lesion, should always be biopsied and evaluated under the microscope. A biopsy is easy, relatively painless, and inexpensive. In addition to confirming the diagnosis, the biopsy can distinguish an SCC from other malignant tumors that may require more aggressive therapies.

Treatment

The treatment varies with the tumor's size, depth, location and how much it has spread ( metastasis ).

Surgical removal of the tumor, which may include removal of the skin around the tumor (wide excision), is often recommended. Microscopic shaving (Mohs' surgery) may remove small tumors. Skin grafting may be needed if wide areas of skin are removed.

The tumor may be reduced in size by radiation treatments.

Chemotherapy can be used if surgery and radiation fail, but it is usually minimally effective.

Home Treatment- After removal of the tumor, keep the area clean, dry and protected from clothing until healed. Your doctor will provide additional instructions, depending on the treatment used.

Prevention

Wear sunscreen or a hat and protective clothing to protect skin from sun damage.



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