What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?It is the second most common type of skin cancer. It is also referred to as cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma or squamous cell skin cancer. It is usually in the form of a hard lump with a scaly top but often becomes ulcerated. It has a gradual onset and develops over several months. It has a higher tendency for distant metastases than other types of skin cancer. It can develop anywhere in the body, but it most often develops in areas of the skin that remain exposed to the ultraviolet radiation of the sun like face, neck, arms, and legs.
Disease Etiology (Causes)The most known causes are exposure to ultraviolet sunlight, lighter skin tone, prior radiation therapy, long-term exposure to arsenic, long-term exposure and skin burns from tanning beds, having low immunity, prior scars, chronic non-healed wounds, previous history of basal cell skin cancer, certain diseases like Bowen’s disease and actinic keratosis and Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
Disease EpidemiologyThe global incidence of squamous cell carcinoma is increasing. The latest estimates indicate that there are between 180,000 and 400,000 cases in the United States of America. The incidence of squamous cell carcinoma increases with age, and the average age at onset is 60 years. Men have a higher incidence of squamous cell skin cancer than women. Caucasians and fair-skinned people are more affected than coloured and dark-skinned people
Signs and SymptomsThe SCC of the skin starts as a small nodule, and after enlarging, it turns into an ulcer. In most cases, the lesion or swelling does not show symptoms. It is a slow-growing skin ulcer or plaque. The swelling often bleeds, especially on the lip, the sores on the lips do not heal easily and bleeds repeatedly. Squamous cell carcinoma usually develops in areas exposed to the sun.
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic test and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis.
- Skin biopsy for histopathological examination