Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the most common forms of skin cancer which develops in the squamous cells. These are the cells that constitute the middle and outer layer of the skin. Such kind of skin cancer is usually not thought of by doctors to be life-threatening. If this disease is not treated, then squamous cell carcinoma has the potential to grow large or spread to other parts of the patient’s body, causing serious complications and problems, which is a characteristic common to almost all kinds of cancer.
Symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the skin most often occurs on those parts of the skin which are exposed to the sun. Some of the various signs and symptoms of this disease are:
- A red nodule which is firm
- A sore, generally flat with a scaly crust
- A new sore in some part of the skin or in some cases, a raised area on an old scar or ulcer which comes back
- A scaly and rough patch on the patient’s lip that may subsequently evolve to an open sore and cause further problems
- A red sore or a rough patch, which might itch, may develop in the inside of some patient’s mouth
Causes of squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is known to occur when the concerned cells in the outer layer of one’s skin develop some basic functional errors in their DNA. Under ordinary circumstances, new cells generally push the older cells towards the surface of the skin and then the older cells die and are removed. Errors in the DNA disrupt this pattern, making cells grow out of control, and then it ultimately leads to this type of skin cancer.
Ultraviolet light and other potential causes
A significant amount of damage done to the DNA in the skin cells is a result of ultraviolet radiation, which is found in sunlight and in other places like commercial tanning lamps. However, an exposure to the sun may not be the reason for skin cancers which develop on parts of the skin that are not ordinarily exposed to high amounts of sunlight. This indicates that there may be other factors which contribute to one’s risk of skin cancer.
Though it is not as serious as the other types of cancer, you should not take it lightly. You must visit a doctor immediately if you see any of the symptoms listed above and get diagnosed and treated because after all, squamous cell carcinoma is a type of cancer and can become extremely harmful, if not treated.