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The Insight Scoop On Squamous Cell Skin Cancer
Squamous Cancel Carcinoma (SCC), the second most virulent form of skin cancer generally affects approximately 250,000 of the general United States population. It is a common occurrence among people with fair complexion who are exposed frequently to direct sunlight between the hours of 10 in the morning up to 3 in the afternoon, especially among the middle-aged and the elderly who are the most likely to be affected.
Squamous cell skin cancer generally manifest itself as crusty or flaking patches on the skin with a red, inflamed base, a growing tumor, and/or a non-healing ulcer. They are usually found in the face, neck, arms, scalp, back of the hands, and ears � areas of the body that are normally exposed to direct sunlight. However, some cases of SCC have also been reported to occur on the lips, inside the mouth, the genitalia or anywhere on the body. If you discover any lesion on your body that does not heal and grows, bleeds or changes in appearance, an immediate consultation with a dermatologist is obligatory because it is possible for squamous cell carcinoma to spread to other areas of the body.
Without proper diagnosis and treatment, squamous cell carcinoma can destroy the skin tissues surrounding the tumor and may result a permanent scar or disfigurement like the loss of a nose, lip or ear. Aggressive types of squamous cell carcinomas which normally occur on the lip and ear areas can spread to the lymph nodes and become life threatening.
A skin biopsy is the best way to diagnose any lesion or flaky patches on the body in order determine and confirm the diagnosis.
Common Factors that Cause Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Constant and direct exposure to the sun�s ultraviolet rays for prolonged periods is the number one contributory factor to an increased probability of developing skin cancer.
� Exposure to indoor tanning devices which emit ultraviolet light also increases an individual�s risk of skin cancer.
� Chronic skin ulcers, x-ray treatment for acne, smoking and exposure to tars and oils can also influence some individuals to the development of SCC.
� Avoidance of ultraviolet (natural or artificial) is the foremost preventive measure to combat skin cancer.
� If exposure to the sun is necessary due to work requirements or any other reason, then it is best to wear protective clothing or apply broad-spectrum sunscreens that can block both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays. A rule of thumb is to use sunscreens with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
� Wear sunglasses and hats.
� Use a sun block formulated for the lips.
� Limit your time outdoors especially between the hours of 10a.m. to 3p.m.
� Treat yourself to an annual skin examination by a dermatologist to monitor your skin condition regularly.
� Read the fine print on the literature and labels of medication, drugs and skin-care products that you use since they may contain ingredients that can increase your risk of developing cancer.
If you are a smoker (cigarette, pipe or cigar) or use smokeless tobacco, this may be a wake up call to quit the habit. Smokers and tobacco chewers have an inordinately high risk of developing squamous cell cancer of the mouth and lips. Consonant to prevention, a regular checkup and examination of the entire body is recommended. You can do this on your own to check your skin for abnormal skin conditions; use a full-length mirror to check the areas of your back, shoulders, upper arms and buttocks.
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