Squamous cell carcinoma or SCC is a cancer that affects different organs. It is either in-situ or invasive in nature. Like all other carcinoma cancer forms, SCC also involves cell mutation and damage. The treatment options include Mohs surgery.
Squamous cell carcinoma is a malignant cancer tumor that may be detected around the skin, mouth, lungs, esophagus, vagina, urinary bladder, cervix, and prostate. The malignancy is characteristic of differentiation of the squamous cell. SCC is either confined to the affected region or invades the underlying tissues. It is the latter that causes subsequent organ damage and metastasis. When the carcinoma is contained within a region, it is also clinically referred to as Bowen’s disease.
SCC manifests in the following ways:
- Asymptomatic lesion.
- Slow development of an ulcer or skin plaque.
- Periodical bleeding of a lip tumor.
- Ulcerated lesions with raised edges.
- Development of hard plaque, with telangiectasia.
- Tumor at the back of the hand, lip, scalp and pinna surface, and other areas exposed to direct sunlight.
- Skin photodamage and solar keratoses.
SCC is a skin cancer that is not confined to any particular age, gender, or genetics. Most of the time, the condition is diagnosed in people around 65 years of age. While Caucasians are more likely to develop squamous cell cancer, people with fair Celtic complexion and those regularly exposed to direct UV radiation are also at risk.
There have also been instances, wherein, the consumption of arsenic in ground water increase the risk of SCC. In the mouth and surrounding region, the carcinoma is aggravated due to alcohol abuse and smoking. In the case of esophageal squamous cell cancer and adenocarcinomas, closer to the stomach region, the symptoms are aggravated with solid food intake.
SCC can only be diagnosed via biopsy. Most of the time, biopsy requires tissue extract that is both subcutaneous as well as basal. Excision biopsy and/or incision biopsy, both are offered alongside shave biopsy. The treatment options include, surgery or topical medications, depending on the extent of cell mutation on clinical diagnosis of the condition.
This treatment option is also referred to as chemosurgery. It is a microscopically controlled surgery technique, which involves accurate removal of the cancerous tissue. Mohs surgery is a frequently adopted plan of action.
Imiquimod or Aldara is a topical application that is used to retain skin texture and reduce scars. Imiquimod is used in the treatment of both, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The treatment option activates the immune system through the receptor 7 and subsequently causes the release of the cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α, interferon-α and interleukin-6. The application increases the secretion of the opioid growth factor receptor also clinically referred to as OGFr.
If neglected, the onslaught of squamous cell cancer could also result in the development of any of the following conditions:
- Low-grade malignancy called Keratoacanthoma that develops on the skin. The condition is triggered within the pilosebaceous glands and requires microscopic analysis.
- Bowen’s disease, a condition that is triggered due to over-exposure to direct UV rays of the sun.
- Marjolin’s ulcer, a non-healing ulcer that develops around a wound.
- Melanoma or skin cancer
- Basal Cell Carcinoma, a type of usually non-malignant skin cancer.