CANCER TYPES

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

About Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is a form of skin cancer that affects the squamous cells, which are the cells that make up the middle and outer layers of the skin. This is the second most common form of skin cancer just under basal cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is characterized by the accelerated growth of squamous cells. These cells are found throughout the body, so squamous cell carcinoma can occur anywhere there are abnormal cells, including the genitalia.

Most cases of squamous cell carcinoma are not life-threatening and can be treated with targeted therapy, but this form of skin cancer can be aggressive. If left untreated, squamous cell carcinoma can spread to other organs and parts of the body and lead to some serious health issues. Estimates suggest that over 15,000 Americans die from squamous cell carcinoma every year.

Causes and Risk Factors

Squamous cell carcinoma is caused by DNA damage to squamous cells. The damage causes mutations in the DNA that allows squamous cells to grow out of control. This can result in the formation of a lesion, or mass, which can become a tumor. The abnormal cells can eventually continue to grow and the cancer spreads to other regions of the body, a process known as metastasis. If these tumor cells metastasize in other areas of the body and the cancer spreads, you may be recommended for aggressive forms of treatment. 

The damage and mutations to DNA are often a result of extended exposure to UV light and radiation. This can come from sunlight or from tanning beds. However, this does not explain the forms of squamous cell carcinoma that affect areas that are not frequently exposed to the sun.

While anyone of any skin color can get squamous cell carcinoma, it is more common in those with fair skin. This is because more melanin provides more protection from the sun. Having a weakened immune system as a result of a disease or organ transplant can also increase your risk of this type of cancer. Most cases of squamous cell carcinoma are more common in people over the age of 50.

Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging

Common signs and symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma involve various skin lesions and masses, which may include:

  • Flat sores with scaly crusts
  • Firm, red nodules
  • A new sore or raised skin on an existing scar
  • A rough patch or red sore inside the mouth
  • Rough, scaly patches on the lip that may turn into open sores
  • Red, raised patches or wart-like sores on the genitals or anus

These sores may be caused by other diseases or disorders, so the only way to know for sure if you have squamous cell carcinoma is to consult your doctor for a professional diagnosis. Diagnosis usually involves a simple physical examination and a biopsy of any suspicious skin lesions to see if they contain any cancerous tissue.

If your doctor does discover cancerous tissue in the biopsy, they will proceed to the staging phase. Staging allows your doctor to determine the severity of the cancer, whether it has spread, and the best treatment for it. Stages range from 0 to IV. The higher the number, the bigger the risk of the metastasis of the cancer cells.

Alternative and Natural Treatments for Squamous Cell Carcinoma

In its early stages, squamous cell carcinoma can be easily removed from the affected tissue with minor surgical procedures. For larger cancers or those that spread to other parts of the body, the doctor may require chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy to directly target and kill cancer cells. These treatments have potential risk factors and can leave you physically tired and weaken your immune system.

If you have been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma there are many options available that don’t include harsh chemotherapy drugs or radiation therapy. Immunity Therapy Center offers alternative and natural treatments designed to support healing and wellness without sacrificing your health or immune system. Our team works with you to develop a personalized squamous cell carcinoma natural treatment plan that can be adjusted based on your needs. Or, if you qualify, learn about our clinical trials designed to kill cancer cells. Contact us today to learn more or to receive your custom treatment plan.

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