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Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer, which attacks squamous cell that forms the middle layer and outer skin. This cancer generally attacks the body that’s exposed to the sun, among other faces, neck, hands and feet. However, it also appears on a part of the body that has squamous cells. Although the development is slow, this cancer can spread to the surrounding tissue, such as bone or lymph nodes and it will be complicated to solve.

Symptoms of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is usually preceded by the reddish bumps or patch and scaly skin. Appears on the body exposed to sunlight such as the scalp, ears, or lips. However, symptoms also appear in such as in the mouth, genitals or anus.

Over time, small bumps develop can harden or bleed. In the mouth, symptoms that can appear in the form of sores or white spots. In some cases, lumps will appear on existing skin, for example on a mole or on a birthmark.

Causes of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This cancer is caused by changes in DNA, which are approved by squamous cells in the skin to grow uncontrollably. This DNA mutation can be triggered by ultraviolet radiation, such as direct sunlight exposure or actions to darken the skin with UV light.

Risk Factors for Squamous Cell Carcinoma

It is estimated that there are factors can increase the amount of squamous cell carcinoma expenditure in a person:

  • The immune system is weak, for example in people suffering from leukaemia, lymphomas, taking immunosuppressant drugs or just undergoing an organ transplant.
  • Skin colour. Light-skinned people are more susceptible to suffering from cancer.
  • History of skin abnormalities, having experienced other types of skin cancer, blistered skin, symptoms of arsenic poisoning of the skin, or skin affected by pre-cancerous lesions such as solar keratosis or Bowen’s disease.
  • Genetic disorders, including xeroderma pigmentosum, albinism, Gorlin syndrome, and Bazex syndrome.
  • Age. The risk of this cancer tends to increase with age.

Treatment of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Some treatment steps that can be chosen by patients include:

  • Skin affected by cancer will be cut and sewn.
  • Electrodesiccation and curettage (ED&C). The tumour is removed by nailing it, then the base layer of the cancer is burned with an electric needle.
  • Curette and cryotherapy. The procedure is the same as ED&C, only after the curette, the biopsy area is frozen with liquid nitrogen.
  • Cryosurgery, which is the procedure of freezing cancer cells using liquid nitrogen.
  • Laser beam therapy to destroy cancer cells.
  • Mohs surgery, which is to remove layer by layer of cancer which is then examined under a microscope. Commonly used in cancers of the face, such as the nose or ears.
  • Radiotherapy. This procedure is done if cancer has spread to other organs and to the lymph nodes.
  • Chemotherapy with topical medications containing imiquimod or 5-fluorouracil.
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT). In this procedure, the cancer cells will be destroyed using special rays.

Prevention of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Protect yourself from squamous cell carcinoma, by taking the following preventative steps:

  • Avoid exposure to sunlight when it is hot. For example, not leaving the house during the day (especially between 10 noon to 4 pm). If possible, change the schedule of outdoor activities to other hours.
  • Wear closed clothes. Choose clothing that can protect all parts of the skin, also wear a wide hat and sunglasses with UVA and UVB protectors when travelling.
  • Always use sunscreen every time you leave the house. Recommended sunscreens are those that contain at least SPF 15. Use once every 2 hours, or more often if you swim or sweat.
  • Check the skin independently. Always pay attention to all parts of your body, and consult a doctor immediately if there are changes in suspicious skin.
  • Avoid skin tanning actions.

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