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Squamous Cell Carcinoma

How Is It Treated?

Treatment for most squamous cell carcinoma involves some kind of surgery. Generally, the cancer is removed completely during biopsy with no further treatment required. Although squamous cell carcinomas are usually curable, people who have had the disease have a higher-than-average risk of developing it again.

Preventing Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The best way to prevent squamous cell carcinoma is to protect yourself from the sun and avoid other sources of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Recommendations for squamous cell carcinoma prevention include:
  • It is best to stay out of the midday sun (from mid-morning to late afternoon) whenever you can. You also should protect yourself from UV radiation reflected by sand, water, snow, and ice. UV radiation can go through light clothing, windshields, windows, and clouds.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants of tightly woven fabrics, a hat with a wide brim, and sunglasses that absorb UV.
  • Use sunscreen lotions. Sunscreen may help prevent squamous cell carcinoma, especially broad-spectrum sunscreen (to filter UVB and UVA rays) with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. However, it is still important to avoid the sun and wear clothing to protect your skin.
  • Stay away from sunlamps and tanning booths.

A Summary of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Key information to keep in mind regarding squamous cell carcinoma includes:
  • Squamous cell carcinoma is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in the tissues of the skin
  • Skin color and exposure to sunlight can affect the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma
  • It often appears as a change in the skin
  • Tests or procedures that examine the skin are used to detect and diagnose squamous cell carcinoma
  • Certain factors affect the prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options for squamous cell carcinoma.
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