Squamous Cell Carcinoma
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Squamous cell carcinoma, a common type of skin cancer in most parts of the world, can affect any part of the body with squamous cells. Even though squamous cell carcinoma is not a well-known cancer like others, we are in a situation to expand our knowledge due to its prevalence all over the world. Let's light ourselves by knowing the truth about squamous cell carcinoma.
According to research, 2.4 million squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cases are reported globally. This shows the seriousness and prevalence of this disease worldwide. We need to take care of our loved ones against this silent killer.
Know About Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cells are flat, thin cells in the upper part of the skin epidermis, shed continuously as new ones form. When these cells grow abnormally, it leads to squamous cell carcinoma.
Types Of Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Here are some of the types of squamous cell carcinoma based on their primary location:
- Cutaneous Squamous cell Carcinoma
- Lung Squamous cell Carcinoma
- Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
- Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
- Cervical squamous cell Carcinoma
- Pancreatic squamous cell carcinoma
7 Symptoms Of Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Here are some of the symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma:
- A rough, reddish, and scaly skin area.
- A sore that is always open with an elevated border.
- The appearance of brown spots, which are similar to the age spots.
- Growth of skin, which is firm, dome-shaped.
- Wart-like growth on the skin (Seborrheic keratosis).
- Growth of tiny rhinoceros-shaped horns from your skin.
- The development of a sore within an old scar.
Risk Factors Of Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinomas can be caused by various risk factors. Some of the common risk factors are given below:
- Sun or tanning beds: Direct or longtime exposure to sun's UV radiation or tanning beds can increase the risk of squamous cell carcinoma.
- Immunosuppressive medication or weakened immune system: you may have an increased chance of getting SCC if you have a weak immune system due to illness or under immunosuppressive medications.
- History of skin cancer: Individuals who have a history of skin cancer or basal cell carcinoma (BCC) may have an increased risk of SCC.
- Age: Individuals over 50 years old are more likely to have oral squamous cell carcinoma than younger ones.
- Fair skin: Fair skin peoples are at an high risk of getting SCC.
- Gender: Compare to women, men are more likely to develop SCC (Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas).
- Extreme sun-sensitive: People extremely sensitive to sun exposure (xeroderma pigmentosum) are at high risk of getting SCC.
- Chronic infections and skin inflammation: People with chronic infection and skin inflammation due to burns, scars, and other conditions may have a high risk of getting SCC.
- Skin precancers: Skin precancer-like actinic keratosis increases the risk of getting SCC.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV): Individuals with a history of human papillomavirus (HPV) are at increased risk of developing SCC.
How To Diagnose SCC
Squamous cell carcinoma can be diagnosed by three methods:
- Physical examination: Your healthcare provider will examine the skin and diagnose it physically to confirm whether it is a squamous cell carcinoma or a normal skin problem.
- Biopsy: Biopsy is a confirmation test for SCC, which involves the removal of small tissue in the affected area and examining it in the laboratory.
- Computed tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): CT and MRI confirm the SCC after physical examination.
Treatment Options For Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) can be treated by using the following methods:
- Surgery: It involves removal of the top layer of the skin which was affected by cancer.
- Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy involves high-energy rays to target and kill cancer cells.
- Topical medications: For early-stage SCC, medicines such as imiquimod or 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) may be prescribed by the doctors to apply directly to the affected area.
- Cryotherapy: This technique uses liquid nitrogen to treat the SCC caused by sunburn.
- Targeted Therapy: Target therapy is used to block the growth of cancer cells in the genetically mutated SCC.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy medicines are used to treat advanced cases of SCC.
- Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy drugs stimulate the body's immune system and destroy cancer SCC.
Wrap it up!
Squamous cell carcinoma needs a proactive approach that prioritizes awareness and prevention measures. Regular skin check-ups, sun-care practices, and timely medical care are crucial in facing its impact. By conducting championing programs about the importance of protecting our skin healthier, we can educate and make people around us. Let's unite in prioritizing skin health and stand together against squamous cell carcinoma.
"Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it."