Squamous Cell Carcinoma



The 2nd most common form of nonmelanomaskin cancer, characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the squamous cells
Signs/Symptoms
  • Thick, scaly patch of skin with an irregular shape
  • Appears similar to a wart; often crusty or bloody
  • Elevated growth with a sensitive, inverted center—likely to rapidly grow

Causes/Risk Factors
  • People with light hair, fair skin, and blue/green eyes are most susceptible
  • Substantial sun exposure, tanning beds
  • Genetic predisposition; highly UV-sensitive conditions
  • Twice as frequent in men, most often diagnosed in patients over the age of 50
  • Can arise from burns, scars, ulcer, etc
  • Immune deficiency diseases, excessive sun exposure, chemotherapy can weaken the immune system, making skin cancer more likely to spread
Precancers
  • Actinic Keratoses: rough, scaly, raised growths found on the sun-exposed areas of the body
  • Actinic Cheilitis: occurs most often on the lower lip because it is more exposed to sun than the upper lip
  • Leukoplakia: found in the mucous membranes in the mouth, mostly caused by tobacco use and habitual alcohol consumption
  • Bowen’s Disease: caused by sun exposure, chemical carcinogens, radiation, and genetics; can arise in mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, and skin
Prevention
  • Reduce exposure to harmful UV rays
  • Avoid tanning beds
  • Apply high quality (above SPF 15) sunscreen at least every two hours when exposed to the sun for a long time
  • Examine the skin frequently to check for any abnormalities (size, color, texture)
  • See a physician for yearly check-ups
Treatments
  • Surgery: removes the cancer and surrounding cells using scalpels, freezing methods, laser techniques, and burning devices; most common treatment
  • Radiation: X-ray beams are directed at the tumor, administered several times on large, dangerous tumors, usually on younger patients
  • Medications: stimulate the immune system and release chemicals that kill cancerous cells

Sources
www.skincancer.org
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
www.mayoclinic.com