More than 70,000 individuals are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. More than 9,000 cases of death are caused by skin cancer each year. Male patients accounted for the majority in both of these figures. Skin cancer is known as the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer within the United States and the American Academy of Dermatology estimates that around 20% of American citizens will have some form of skin cancer during a certain part of their life. There are two different types of skin cancer that are the most common among patients:
- Basal cell skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of skin cancer
- Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most commonly diagnosed type of skin cancer
The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that around one million cases of squamous cell carcinoma is diagnosed each year, with an average of 8,000 cases of death associated with this kind of cancer every year.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is known as a slow-growing cancer that affects the skin. The cancer can spread to nearby bones, lymph nodes and tissues. It develops within the squamous cells within the skin. These cells are found in the outer and middle layer of the skin. The condition is known to develop on parts of the skin that is frequently exposed to ultraviolet radiation, such as the neck, lips, arms, legs, hands, head and ears. Exposure to tanning beds and UV lamps are also known to increase* the risk of developing this type of cancer.
This cancer is known to cause a patch on the skin that is thick, scaly and rough. The patch also tends to bleed easily when scratched or bumped. Medical experts advise that the patches can look like open sores or warts and that any changes to skin growths a patient is aware of should be a call for medical examination. The sores caused by the condition is usually dome-sized and red in color. It appears as a bump and can cause pain or itchiness. Patients suffering from chronic skin sores or with scars on their skin are also advised to pay attention to any changes, especially when the sores do not heal properly. The growths caused by squamous cell carcinoma can appear from within scars and sores on the body, which should be reported to a doctor for further investigation. Doctors also tend to check the rest of the patient’s body for spots and sores when examining the patient in order to determine whether the condition has spread.
Causes and Risk Factors
Several risk factors have been associated with squamous cell carcinoma. Studies have also confirmed that the condition is more common in men than in women, as well as an increase* in diagnoses in older aged patients. Other risk factors that have been associated with the development of this skin cancer include fair-skinned patients and patients exposed to radiation. Patients with blue, gray or green eyes are also known to be more at risk, as well as patients with red or blonde hair. Exposure to certain chemicals during a long period of time also adds as a risk factor. The condition can also be inherited through DNA. Research also shows an increase* in the number of diagnoses in patients that are frequently exposes to the sun’s UV rays, light bulbs and tanning beds.
Treatments For Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The skin cancer can usually be treatment in an effective manner when diagnosed in an early stage. Doctors will usually start by examining the condition and conduct further tests. The test results will allow for further discussion on the available treatment methods based on the patient’s condition and the severity of the cancer. Treatment options can include the removal of the cancer spot, a method that kills cancer cells through an electric needle, dermabrasion, topical chemotherapy, lymph node surgery and cryosurgery. Drug treatments are also used in some cases.
While squamous cell carcinoma can usually be treated easily when the condition is picked up in an early stage, prolonging treatment can cause several side-effects due to the growth of the cancer. The cancer can spread to other parts of the skin when left untreated and can become a larger infestation on the patient’s body, which could also lead to more serious conditions. When left untreated, the chances of successfully removing* or killing the cancer becomes more challenging.
Millions of patients are diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma each year and thousands of deaths are caused by this type of cancer. By knowing the symptoms and signs of this cancer, you will be able to increase* the chance of picking up the condition at an early stage. This condition can be treated through several methods, especially when treatment starts in an early developmental stage. Effective and timely treatment can provide the patient with the relief* of the condition.