The second most common type of skin cancer is called squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and it is defined by the accelerated, abnormal proliferation of squamous cells. Most SCCs are treatable if discovered early. A form of cancer that starts in squamous cells is squamous cell carcinoma. These are the slender, flat cells that cover the inner surfaces of numerous body organs, such as the skin, mouth, throat, and oesophagus.
Squamous cell carcinoma symptoms
Skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma most frequently develops on sun-exposed areas such as the scalp, palms, ears, and lips. However, it can happen anywhere on your body, including your genitalia, the inside of your mouth, and the soles of your feet.
Skin squamous cell carcinoma symptoms and signs include:
a solid, rosy nodule
a scaly crusted, flat sore
An existing scar or ulcer with a new sore or elevated region
a hard, itchy lip area that could turn into an open sore
a painful or scratchy spot within your mouth that is red
a wart-like sore or red, raised spot on your genitalia, anus, or anywhere else on your body
Squamous cell carcinoma causes
The middle and outer layers of your skin's flat, thin squamous cells can have alterations (mutations) in their DNA, which leads to squamous cell carcinoma. The instructions that inform a cell what to do are encoded in its DNA. The squamous cells are instructed by the mutations to grow out of control and live while normal cells would have died.
The majority of DNA mutations in skin cells are brought on by ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can be found in sunlight, tanning beds, and commercial tanning lamps.
However, skin cancers that appear on skin that is not typically exposed to sunlight cannot be attributed to sun exposure. This suggests that additional variables, such as having a disease that impairs your immune system, may raise your risk of developing skin cancer.
Squamous cell carcinoma risk factors
Your chance of developing skin cancer with squamous cells may be affected by the following factors:
Fair skin. Skin squamous cell carcinoma can affect anyone, regardless of skin tone. Less melanin (the skin's pigment) offers less protection against harmful UV rays, though.
A person with lighter skin is far more likely to get skin cancer, particularly squamous cell carcinoma, than someone with blond or red hair, light-colored eyes, freckles, or sunburns easily.
With a lot of solar exposure, Your chance of developing squamous cell carcinoma of the skin increases when you are exposed to UV rays from the sun. Spending a lot of time in the sun raises your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, especially if you don't protect your skin with clothing or sunblock.
a background of skin cancer, Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is quite likely to return if it has already occurred in the past.
tanning beds, Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is more common among users of indoor tanning beds.
an uncommon genetic condition, Skin cancer risk is significantly enhanced in people who have xeroderma pigmentosum, a condition that makes them extremely sensitive to sunlight.
a background of sunburns, The likelihood of getting squamous cell carcinoma of the skin as an adult increases if you have one or more blistering sunburns as a kid or teenager. Adult sunburns are another risk factor.
an individual's experience with precancerous skin lesions Your chance of developing squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is increased if you have a precancerous skin lesion such as actinic keratosis or Bowen's disease.
the compromised immune system, The risk of developing skin cancer is higher in people with compromised immune systems. This includes those who take immune-suppressing drugs, such as those who have had organ transplants, as well as those who have leukaemia or lymphoma or who take chemotherapy.
Skin squamous cell carcinomas can be averted in the majority of cases. To keep yourself safe:
Put on safety gear. Wear dark, tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs, along with a broad-brimmed hat that offers more protection than a baseball cap or visor, to protect your skin.
All year long, use sunscreen. Even on cloudy days, wear broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if you're swimming or perspiring. Apply sunscreen liberally.
Avoid being in the sun at midday. The sun's rays are most intense for many people in North America between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm. Even in the winter or when the sky is hazy, schedule outside activities for other times of the day.
Additionally, several businesses sell protective apparel. An acceptable brand can be suggested by a dermatologist. Bear in mind your sunglasses. Be on the lookout for those that can block UVA and UVB rays.
Skip the tanning bed. Your chance of developing skin cancer is raised by the UV radiation that tanning beds release.
Regularly check your skin, and let your doctor know if anything changes. Check your skin frequently for new skin growths or alterations to moles, freckles, lumps, and birthmarks that already exist. Examine your face, neck, ears, and scalp using mirrors.
Check the tops and bottoms of your arms, hands, and trunk, as well as your chest. Examine your feet, especially the soles and the gaps between your toes, as well as the front and rear of your legs. Additionally, look between your buttocks and your genitalia.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, if left untreated, has the potential to migrate to the lymph nodes or other organs, harm neighbouring healthy tissue, and even prove fatal.
Skin cancers with aggressive squamous cell carcinomas are more likely to develop when:
involves mucous membranes, including those on the lips
is especially big or deep
occurs in those who have a weakened immune system, such as those with persistent leukaemia or those who take anti-rejection drugs after receiving an organ transplant.