Hi, my name is Katlyn. As a mum of four kids, I take their health very seriously. However, I also take my own parenting philosophies seriously. Because of that, I have always attempted to find doctors and health care providers who resonate with my style. That includes everything from their thoughts on how often to prescribe medication to how they speak to my children. If you want tips on finding the perfect healthcare provider, please explore these posts. They contain everything I have learned over the years, and I hope my experiences can really help other mums and families! Take Care, Katlyn.
Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that affects the squamous cells, which are flat cells in the outer part of the epidermis. More common than melanoma skin cancer and less common than basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma is described by the American Cancer Society as accounting for around 20% of skin cancers. While the condition is not generally fatal, it is still important that it is diagnosed as soon as possible, so treatment can begin. This short guide explains the condition in more detail, from the symptoms you should look out for to the treatment that is available.
Symptoms of Squamous Cell Carcinoma
You should perform regular skin checks for all types of skin cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma. You should look for a firm lump with a rough or crusty service. Sometimes you might mistake it for a wart, although sometimes it may look more like a sore. They most commonly appear on body parts that are exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, and hands. The British Skin Foundation lays out guidelines on who is most likely to develop the condition, including people who work outdoors, people who use sunbeds, and people with fair skin. These people should take care to limit their time in the sun, and always wear sun cream.
Diagnosing Squamous Cell Carcinoma
If you are worried that you may have squamous cell carcinoma, you should see your GP or attend a skin care clinic as soon as possible. You may then be referred to a dermatologist, who will examine your skin and perform a biopsy, where they remove some or all of the affected skin to examine it more closely. You may also need further tests to see if cancer has spread to other organs, but this is very rare.
Treatment For Squamous Cell Carcinoma
As the NHS explains, the main treatment for all types of non-melanoma skin cancer is surgery. A specialist will remove the affected skin, and in many cases, this is the only treatment that is required. There are also other treatment options such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy, as well as anti-cancer creams, and the choice will depend on how much your cancer has developed and where on your body it is located.
While skin cancer sounds worrying, squamous cell carcinoma is preventable and is fully treatable if caught in good time. As the Skin Cancer Foundation explains, the condition is usually caused by overexposure to the sun or to other sources of UV light, such as sunbeds, so you should try your best to protect yourself from the sun. If you find anything worrying during a skin check, make sure you see your GP or another medical professional as soon as possible.