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Detecting Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

Apr 1, 2008
Skin cancer is an increasingly common disease. This is probably due to a combination of more research into the disease leading to greater public awareness of the issue. And environmental and behavioral conditions changing in contemporary life. Skin cancer is broken down into three types - Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. This article will discuss spotting squamous skin cancer and common characteristics of the disease.

The first signs of squamous cell carcinoma are a red spot or elevated area of skin on the surface or epidermis. As the carcinoma develops the area of skin affected will become larger and will have an irregular shape. The skin may become scaly or hard to the touch. Eventually a lesion may form and bleeding may occur. If left untreated the area of the carcinoma will grow at a fast rate.

Bowen's disease is another form of squamous skin cancer. This happens more commonly in older people (over 60) and women. Bowen's disease often looks like a red rash that is slightly elevated from the epidermis. Like other forms of the disease, the rash will become scaly to the touch and multiple lesions may occur.

Particularly bad cases of squamous cell carcinoma may look like large ulcers or lesions on the skin. They can occur on all areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun but mainly on the face and neck.

People soon spot squamous cell skin cancer on the face as they are very conscious of their appearance. In these cases it is noticed in the early stages and can be treated successfully. Treatment could range from freezing the cancerous cells to excision. It is done in the doctor's surgery and can be a quick as 30 minutes.

Preventing squamous skin cancer is obviously more desirable than ever having to treat it. The best way to prevent any skin cancer is to limit the amount of time you spend in the sun or appliances that expose the skin to UVA and UVB radiation (like sun beds). The length of time depends on your skin type but no matter what type it is you should avoid excessive sun tanning and sunburn.

If you can't avoid being in the sun as you work outdoors or much of your leisure time is spent outside then take adequate protection. Wear protective clothing, like a wide brimmed hat (or some kind of head gear) and a shirt preferably long sleeved. also wear eye protection and a sunscreen.
About the Author
For more information on the physical signs of skin cancer visit http://symptomsofskincancer.net. The site covers detecting and treating skin cancer.
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