Health

What is squamous cell carcinoma of the skin?

Flat epithelial cells are a type of cells that form the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. Mutations in the DNA of these cells make them one of the most common types. In fact, it is the second most common type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. It is usually not life-threatening until it is left untreated when it spreads to other parts of the body, including bones and lymph nodes.

Overview of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin

Squamous epithelial cells of cutaneous carcinoma are usually the result of prolonged exposure to UV light, regardless of source. People who are exposed to sunlight, tanning beds, and even lamps are at increased risk of developing this cancer.

Squamous cell carcinoma presents with the same symptoms as other skin cancers. If diagnosed early, doctors can easily treat the cancer. However, if left untreated, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin can cause difficult-to-treat complications. Because squamous epithelial cells form part of the skin, the cancer can occur anywhere in the body.

Main signs of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin

The most common areas of development are the skin on the head, ears, neck, chest, upper back, and lips. However, it can occur on any part of the body, including the genitals and feet.

The signs and symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin are:

  • New pain or raised area of ​​old scar or ulcer
  • Flat pain with scaly skin
  • Solid red nodule
  • Rough patch or red pain in the mouth
  • The scaly, gritty patch on the lips can evolve into open pain
  • Warts such as raised red spots or pain in the anus or genitals

When to see a doctor for squamous cell carcinoma of the skin?

This form of cancer is not life-threatening and cannot be easily treated, but it is best to see a doctor if you have any of the above symptoms. Do not try medicated lotions or gels on the table for treatment as they can cause infections and itching. Always see a doctor before the cancer spreads inside the body when the cancer can be difficult to treat. For the best treatment and medical services for squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, you can book with your local Apollo Hospital.

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What Causes Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Skin?

Squamous epithelial cells usually die and shed spontaneously, giving way to new cells. All information about when to grow and when to die is stored in DNA. When the DNA of flat epithelial cells is mutated, its growth becomes abnormal. These mutations cause squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.

Abnormal DNA in squamous epithelial cells leads to uncontrolled growth. This allows damaged cells to survive rather than die and fall.

What are the risk factors associated with squamous cell carcinoma of the skin?

Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin can occur in anyone of any age. However, there are several factors that can make you more vulnerable to this condition. The most common risk factors are:

Fair-skinned

Beautiful skin is usually a risk factor for some skin cancers because it is low in pigment (melanin). Pigments provide protection from UV rays. Therefore, if you have blonde hair with fair and light-colored eyes, you are at risk of developing this cancer.

Excessive sunlight exposure

The sun emits ultraviolet light, and prolonged exposure to the sun increases the likelihood of developing squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. If you do not use clothing or other covers to protect your skin, you will be more vulnerable to this condition.

Frequent use of tanning beds

A tanning bed may look good, but it is harmful to your skin because it emits UV rays and tans your skin. If you have a habit of using tan beds, start avoiding them.

History of tanning

If you have one or more sunburns during childhood or teenager, you are at risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin as an adult. Adult sunburn is also a risk factor.

Personal history of precancerous skin lesions

Precancerous skin lesions such as Bowen’s disease and actinic keratosis increase the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.

Immune weakness

If you or someone with weakened immunity is at high risk for skin cancer. This includes people with lymphoma or leukemia, or people taking drugs that suppress the immune system, such as those who have had an organ transplant.

Rare form of hereditary disease

Xeroderma pigmentosum is a rare hereditary disorder that can make you more vulnerable to squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. It reduces the ability of your body and immune system to repair DNA damage caused by UV light.

What are the treatments for squamous cell carcinoma of the skin?

Treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin depends on the size and spread of the cancer. The best treatment options available are:

Treatment of small cancers

If the cancer is small, your doctor will recommend these treatment options.

  • Curettage and electrodrying (C and E): Use a curette to remove the top layer of skin cancer, then use an electric needle to burn the base of the cancer cells.
  • Laser treatment: Kill cancer cells with a powerful laser beam.
  • Photodynamic therapy: Cells are first sensitive to light with a photosensitizer and then killed with strong light.
  • frozen: Your doctor freezes the cancer cells and then removes the cancer along with the frozen skin.

Treatment of large cancers

If the cancer is widespread, your doctor will recommend these treatment options.

  • Easy excision: In this procedure, the treating doctor removes the cancerous tissue, including the perimeter of healthy skin. In some cases, the doctor may recommend further removal of the normal skin around the tumor (extensive resection).
  • Morse surgery: During Morse surgery, the surgeon removes the cancer layer by layer and examines each layer under a microscope until there are no abnormal cells. This allows the doctor to ensure that the entire growth has been removed and avoid overdose of the surrounding healthy skin.
  • Radiation therapy: This treatment uses high-energy beams such as x-rays and protons to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be used after surgery if the cancer is at high risk of recurrence.

Treatment of complex cases

If the cancer has spread beyond the skin to other parts of the body, doctors recommend these treatment options.

chemical treatment: Your doctor will prescribe medication to treat the cancer. These drugs may be given orally or by infusion.

Immunotherapy: Use of drugs that cause the immune system to fight and kill cancer cells.

Targeted drug therapy: Includes finding and focusing on cancer cells and targeting them.

What are the common complications of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin?

The complications caused by this cancer are rare scenarios. However, when the cancer grows too large, nearby cells and tissues can be destroyed and spread inside the body, such as bones, lymph nodes, and other organs. It can be fatal if it spreads too deeply or grows too large.

This condition is also difficult to treat and can cause complications if it attacks mucous membranes such as the lips. Treatment is also difficult if the immune system is weak or if you are taking immunosuppressive drugs.

How to prevent squamous cell carcinoma of the skin?

Most squamous cell carcinomas of the skin can be easily prevented. All you need to do is take some precautions.

  • Avoid direct sunlight at noon or when it’s too hot
  • Use sunscreen lotion
  • Please wear clothes that cover your skin
  • Avoid tan beds

Summarize

Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin may not be life-threatening in the early stages, but it can definitely cause fatal complications. It is always better to prevent than to look for a cure. Therefore, it is always advisable to see a doctor if you have any of the above symptoms on your skin. Early diagnosis helps early treatment and further reduces the likelihood of complications. Contact Apollo Hospital to book an appointment with the most qualified doctor in the country. You can visit the AskApollo library to read more about the symptoms and complications of many other illnesses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. How to diagnose squamous cell carcinoma of the skin?

Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin can be diagnosed using a physical examination or biopsy. During the physical examination, your doctor will ask you about your history. The biopsy procedure involves removing a small number of cells to study it.

  1. How fast does squamous cell carcinoma of the skin spread?

The rate of spread of this cancer varies. It develops in the upper layers of the skin, then progresses inward to healthy tissues, then to lymph nodes, and finally to distant organs.

  1. What are the other common types of skin cancer?

Apart from squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. Both squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma are nonmelanoma skin cancers. Melanoma is also common and is one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer.

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