Squamous cell carcinoma is a very common kind of skin cancer that can affect skin on just about anywhere on your body. However, you may not realize you have this type of cancer until it begins to spread and cause problems. Here is more information about squamous cell carcinoma symptom to raise your awareness so that you and your doctor can find it as soon as possible.
What Are the Different Types of Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer is commonly found in three different types. While melanoma is the type that gets the most attention, basal and squamous cell carcinomas are actually the most common. Melanoma involves the melanocytes which involve skin color and is frequently seen in moles and freckles, and it can spread very quickly if not treated early.
Other types of skin cancer include basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, both of which affect different layers of the skin in different parts of the body. Basal cell carcinomas mostly affect the deep layers of exposed areas, while squamous cell carcinoma affects skin anywhere on the body. However, they are much slower to spread than melanoma and are highly curable, so they don't get as much public mention as melanoma.
What Are the Common Signs of Squamous Cell Carcinoma?
This type of skin cancer arises out of the squamous cells which are small, flat, and thin cells that make up the top layer of your skin as well as some of your internal and reproductive organs. The carcinoma frequently starts out small and looks like scaly, raised, rough, and red skin patches. Continued sun exposure will cause the problem to get worse and these patches will become larger and possibly bleed.
How Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treated?
Your doctor will perform a biopsy from the affected area to closely screen for cancer cells and determine your risk. If you have squamous cell carcinoma and your risk is low, then you may do well with topical treatments such as freezing, creams, and laser therapy. However, large, risky lesions may require full surgical removal. Radiation therapy is mostly prescribed for difficult to access tumors or if you have have a high return cancer risk.
The good news is that squamous cell carcinoma has a good prognosis as long as treatment begins promptly. Whether you have skin cancer or not, you should always protect your skin from excessive sun exposure. Check your skin frequently for any abnormalities and discuss with your doctor or dermatologist if you notice strange textures and colors on your skin.