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Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. It is affecting around 200,000 Americans each year. Though it is also labelled as a non-melanoma type skin cancer (alongside Basal Cell Carcinoma), it can turn nasty and become fatal as 1-2 percent of cases will metastasize.

Metastasis is a key criterion for malignancy. When the cancerous tumor manages to penetrate from the epidermis layer into the dermis layer of the skin, it could spread out very fast, to lymph nodes, blood vessels, and so to distant sites inside the body.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma share many common characteristics. For instance, it is usually found in the sun-exposed areas of the body. The commonest sites would include the head, the nose, temples, rim of the ear and lip, as well as the side and back of the neck, and the dorsal surfaces of the hand and forearm. SCC also occurs in sites of previous burns, scars, or chronic ulcers; or on the mucous membranes of the mouth.

It would normally appear as a red, scaling, well-defined plaque and may gradually develop into an ulcer, a scaly crust, or a wartlike surface. Eventually, it can spread into the deeper or surrounding tissues. They may become itchy or painful, and the lesion may start to bleed or ulcerate.

Reoccurrence is quite common amongst people who have had their SCC removed before. Typically, a reoccurrence might happen in the first two years of the previous removal and is likely to appear in the same skin area as to the previous presentation.

Sunlight, X-ray exposure, arsenic ingestion, and occupational carcinogens are all key contributing factors to this skin cancer. As such, getting to know about these causes and building the knowledge of defence would surely be the most meaningful strategy.

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