Squamous Cell Carcinoma: sunlight, skin, and the battle against cancer

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Squamous Cell Carcinoma: sunlight, skin, and the battle against cancer
Squamous Cell Carcinoma: sunlight, skin, and the battle against cancer

Squamous cell carcinoma, the second most prevalent form of skin cancer, is another condition that often surfaces on sun-exposed areas of the body. While it may not be as common as basal cell carcinoma, it still poses a significant health risk, particularly for those who have had substantial sun exposure throughout their lives. In this article, we'll explore squamous cell carcinoma, its characteristics, and the importance of prevention and early intervention.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) arises in the squamous cells, the skin's outermost layer responsible for protection.

Here's what you need to know:

Signs and symptoms:

- Scaly growths: Red patches or thickened growths on the skin.
- Sores: Ulcerated sores that may crust, bleed, or resist healing.
- Warts: SCC may resemble warts with a rough, uneven surface.
- Elevated bumps: Firm nodules raised on the skin's surface.

Risk factors:

- Sun exposure: Prolonged UV radiation exposure increases risk.
- Fair skin: Light-skinned individuals are more vulnerable.
- Advanced age: SCC is more common in older adults.
- Prior skin cancer: History of SCC elevates risk.
- Suppressed immune system: Weakened immunity increases susceptibility.

Prevention and treatment:

- Sunscreen: Regularly apply SPF 30+ sunscreen.
- Protective clothing: Wear long-sleeved clothing, hats, and sunglasses.
- Skin checks: Perform self-exams and consult a dermatologist for suspicious changes.
- Early intervention: Treatments include surgical excision, Mohs surgery, radiation therapy, and topical medications.

Though less aggressive than melanoma, SCC requires attention. Early detection and treatment are vital. Practice sun-safe behaviors, especially in sunny regions, to maintain healthy skin and reduce SCC risk.

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