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Skin Cancer

Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

Squamous cell skin cancer is one of the three most common forms of skin cancer. This is a cancer that arises in the upper layer of the skin in the squamous cells and is not serious. However, if neglected, this cancer may be difficult to treat and may cause disfigurement.

Causes for squamous cell skin cancer:

It is chronic overexposure to the sun that may cause squamous cell skin cancer. These tumors usually occur on the sun-exposed face, bald scalp, shoulders, hands, arms and back. The most vulnerable places for this cancer are the rim of the ear and the lower lip. The other factors that may contribute to the skin cancer are parts of the skin that has suffered some form of injury like scars, burns and sores and parts of the skin that were exposed to X-rays and certain chemicals like arsenic and petroleum by-products.

Even chronic skin inflammation and medical conditions that suppress the immune system over a span of time encourages the development of skin cancer. In addition to this, long term treatment with immunosuppresive drugs and people with white skin and blond or red hair are more prone to this skin cancer.

Refer chronic inflammatory lesions to a doctor immediately:

Squamous cell skin cancer tumors are thick, horny, and shallow prior to their development. They may ulcerate occasionally to form a raised border and crusted surface on a raised, granular and pebbly base. Bumps in areas of chronic inflammatory skin lesions suggest squamous skin cancer and should be referred to a doctor immediately. The skin in these areas usually has signs of sun damage like loss of elasticity, wrinkling and changes in pigmentation. All suspicious lesions should be examined by a dermatologist, and biopsied if considered necessary. Once skin cancer is diagnosed, treatment options similar to basal cell carcinoma are to be used.

Though most cases of this skin cancer are not dangerous, this cancer grows quickly and may be resistant to treatment so that it damages the healthy skin found around it. In some cases, this cancer may reach the bone and cartilage and with delay in treatment, the cancer is difficult to eliminate and may result in disfigurement.

There is no single method best used for treating squamous cell skin cancer. Different factors are taken into consideration like location, size and if it is a primary or recurrent tumor before the right treatment option is chosen for squamous cell skin cancer. Most treatments are performed in the physician's office or with special surgical facilities with a local anesthetic.

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