Squamous Cell Carcinoma – Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is common form of skin cancer. Skin cancer is a type of tumor that affects the middle layer of the skin. Squamous cells are cells that compose most of the epidermis. An abnormal growth of these cells is known as a squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell cancer results when cells in the middle part of the skin start to change. The changes may begin in normal skin or in skin that has been injured or inflamed. Most skin cancers occur on skin that is regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation. It is most often seen in those over age 50. Over 90% of skin cancers occur on areas of the skin that are regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation. This is considered the primary cause of all skin cancers. Main symptom of squamous cell skin cancer is a growing bump that may have a rough, scaly surface and flat reddish patches. The bump is usually located on the face, ears, neck, hands, or arms, but may occur on other areas. A sore that does not heal can be a sign of squamous cell cancer. Any change in an existing wart, mole, or other skin lesion could be a sign of skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma can develop on almost any part of the body, including the genitals and the soles of the feet, the most common locations are the head (scalp, lips, ears, inside the mouth) or the back of the hands or arms.

Squamous cell carcinoma is much more common in geographic areas where patients have a high frequency of sun exposure. Most SCCs are readily identified and removed in the physician’s office as a minor surgical procedure. Squamous cell carcinomas may also occur where skin has suffered certain kinds of injury: burns, scars, long-standing sores, sites previously exposed to X-rays or certain chemicals. SCC may present as either a proliferative or erosive lesion. Proliferative lesions may vary from a red firm plaque to a cauliflowerlike lesion that often ulcerates. The erosive lesion, which is most common in the cat, initially starts as a shallow crustinglesion that may develop into a deep ulcer. Histologically, the initial crusting lesions often represent carcinoma in situ or preinvasive carcinoma..Skin cancer has a high cure rate if it is treated early. Treatment depends on how big the tumor is, its location, and how much it has spread (metastasis). Surgery to remove the tumor is often recommended. Microscopic shaving (Mohs’ surgery) may be used to remove small tumors. Skin grafting may be needed if wide areas of skin are removed. Radiation therapy may help reduce tumor size. Chemotherapy can be used if surgery and radiation fail, but it usually does not work very well for squamous cell cancer.

Causes of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

1.UV sunlight exposure.

2.Chemical carcinogens.

3.DNA repair failure.

4.Iatrogenic immunosuppression.

5.Chronic inflammation.

6.Genetic syndromes and dermatoses.

Symptoms of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

1.Persistent, firm, red bump on sun-exposed skin.

2.Patch of skin that feels scaly, bleeds, or develops a crust.

3.Skin growth that looks like a wart.

4.Change in the size, shape, or color of a wart or mole.

5.Actinic keratosis.

Treatment of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

There are several effective treatment options available for squamous cell carcinoma. Surgery is best treatment of squamous cell carcinoma. Surgry is devided two types first is Moh´s Surgery / Surgery the most effective treatment. During the surgery a microscopic method is used to make sure all of the affected skin areas are excised. This type of surgery is rather complicated but has a high cure rate. It has the highest cure rate of all surgical treatments. The removed tissue can be examined microscopically to determine if the tumor has been totally excised. It is a rather complicated proceedure.Second is Cryosurgery is liquid nitrogen is applied to the affected surface with a cotton tip applicator or spray device. Liquid nitrogen is extremely cold (-195,8 °C = -320,44 °F) and will cause death of all cells of this area. Unfortunately there is no control as to how deep the tissue has been destroyed. Therefore reoccurences are not uncommon. It usually is an effective treatment.

Cryosurgery causes discomfort and/or pain. Due to freezing the skin may presumably react with blisters, reddening, swelling or a change of color in skin patches.and an infection may occur due to delayed wound-healing. Curettage is scraping away of a superficial skin disorder. Usually a scalpel or another sharp device, called a curette, is used for scraping. Unfortunately there is no control if all of the affected tissue has been removed. The treatment usually requires a local anesthetic. Therefore reoccurances are not uncommon.Radiotherapy uses X-rays to destroy damaged cells. Usually the affected area needs to be treated several times to reach a dose that is effective, depending on the size and stage of the squamous cell carcinoma. Therefore the therapy might last several weeks. This treatment has a good cure rate. It is good for elderly patients who are not physically able to undergo surgery.Other Treatments is Laser. Laser is affected cells are destroyed by the laser.