DERMATOLOGY > SKIN CANCER
What is squamous cell carcinoma?
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer after basal cell carcinoma. It usually appears on the edge of the ear, face, lips, and mouth as a lump or red and scaly spot. Much like the previous condition, it primarily occurs in people with light skin and rarely in individuals with dark skin.
The major difference compared to basal cell carcinoma is that this cancer can degenerate into metastases and affect other organs and parts of the body, so receiving early treatment may be vital. When detected early and treated properly, the cure rate is greater than 95%.
Treatment for carcinoma
There are many medical and surgical procedures to treat almost any type of cancer.
- Surgical dermatological treatments, for example, include surgical removal, electrodesiccation and currettage (ED & C), which consists of scraping or alternatively burning the tumour in combination with low levels of electricity. There is also cryosurgery, or freezing with liquid nitrogen, and laser surgery.
- Mohs micrographic surgery, on the other hand, is a special procedure that is used to remove the entire tumour without damaging the skin
- Other dermatological treatments include radiation therapy and photodynamic therapy, by which a chemical is applied to the skin before exposing it to a light source.
- Finally, topical products can also be used in chemotherapy.
However, prevention and early detection remain the best weapons against cancer to this day:
- Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and use sunscreens and sunglasses to protect yourself.
- It is recommended to inspect your body every two or three months in search of any changes in the skin.
- Pay special attention to pigmented areas of the body such as moles and freckles and see your dermatologist if you notice any changes in them.