What to Expect after Receiving a Squamous Cell Carcinoma Diagnosis

Health & Medical Blog

If you love spending hours in the hot sun or prefer getting your summer glow from a tanning booth, then you may be at risk for squamous cell carcinoma. Here is what to expect if you are diagnosed as well as some possible treatment methods. 

What Is a Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer, and is frequently found on the areas of the body that are exposed to the sun most. This type of cancer is caused by UV exposure from either the sun or a tanning bed, and presents as a patch, sore, or wart on the skin. Those with fair skin and light eyes are most at risk for this disease, as well as those with an increased risk of sun exposure. If you frequent time in the sun, check your skin for moles or lesions that may have appeared. These must be watched closely to make sure they do not result in cancerous cells. 

What does this mean for you?

The earlier you are diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, the better. The cancer cells are constantly dividing and may spread from the top layers of your skin to the lower layers. This puts internal organs at risk for being exposed to the cancer cells. If you see a scab or mole on your skin, it can't hurt to get it checked out just to be safe. In addition, there are numerous treatments you can try to get rid of these sickly cells. 

What are the possible treatments? 

Surgery is a common option to treat your squamous cell carcinoma. This method of removal involves using a scalpel to take out the entire infected portion of skin. Sometimes the doctor might use a spray device to freeze the area before trying to remove it. Surgery is a very effective and curative method of treatment if done correctly. The only downside to this procedure is that it may leave a scar behind. 

Radiation is frequently used on carcinomas that are difficult to treat surgically. By shooting X-ray light at the tumor, doctors work at slowly destroying the infected cells. This method is done in small doses every few weeks until the cancer is completely gone. Radiation also has a high cure rate of about 85 to 95 percent of cases. However, excessive radiation is not good for the body, so this treatment option should only be done if surgery is not a possibility. 

A squamous cell carcinoma diagnosis can be enough to derail anybody's long-term health. However, a little prior knowledge as to what to expect should you find yourself faced with this condition can be immensely helpful and can help you get quickly back on track. For more information on skin cancer surgery, talk to a professional.


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