I’ve been working with a patient who has squamous cell carcinoma.
The patient has had a recent burn and is wondering whether the skin redness is related to the burn or squamous cell carcinoma.
This blog addresses the differences between the two and what to do about it.
The patient has recently had a large section of his face burned, which caused redness and inflammation. I have started him on an anti-inflammatory dose of vitamin D, which has helped with the pain but not the redness. He is worried that this is due to squamous cell carcinoma. Is this possible? How can he tell?
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin is caused by sun exposure. The skin becomes red, swollen, and inflamed in appearance. This typically occurs on the ears and nose areas but can also occur on other parts of the body such as around the eyes, mouth, or lips.
A burn can also cause redness and inflammation in these areas, but will usually be less severe than SCC.
The following is a guest post from Kimberly Scott, a blogger who has a lot of information about skin cancers and how to avoid them. She is not a doctor but a long term cancer survivor who wants to offer advice to others based on her experience.
Most people assume that any skin condition that looks like a burn is in fact a burn, but this is not always the case. It can be a sign of squamous cell carcinoma, or SCC for short. It is important to know the difference between the two so you can get prompt treatment for your condition if it turns out to be SCC. This post will explore the differences between these two conditions and what you need to know before seeing your doctor.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma: What Do You Need to Know?
If you have ever had a bad sunburn that developed into a scaly spot, you may have had squamous cell carcinoma. This is the second most common form of skin cancer, and it tends to occur on areas of skin that get regular sun exposure. It can also appear on areas of skin that are chronically irritated.
What does it look like?
Squamous cell carcinoma usually develops as a firm red bump or as a rough, scaly spot that may crust or bleed easily. It is often found on the face, ears, neck, lips and back of hands — anywhere that gets regular sun exposure. It can also develop in scars or chronic skin sores elsewhere on the body.
How is it treated?
This form of skin cancer can almost always be completely removed by surgery or other treatments before it spreads beyond the original tumor site.
This is a blog about skin cancer. It is not about skin cancer in general, but about a specific type of skin cancer. This type of skin cancer is called squamous cell carcinoma. It is different from many other types of skin cancer, and this post will explain how it is different and why that matters.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a form of skin cancer, which means it is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the outer layers of the skin. SCCs are also referred to as keratinocyte carcinomas because they arise from keratin-producing cells. These cells are found most often on the face, ears, neck, lips, and back of the hands.
There are many types of skin cancers that doctors can treat with surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy. But there are also other types that are harder to treat and can lead to death if left untreated. Squamous cell carcinoma is one such type. It grows slowly over time and can spread to other parts of your body if not treated early enough.”
When you get a sunburn, the top layer of skin is damaged. And when your skin gets damaged, that can sometimes lead to cancer.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a type of skin cancer that starts in the squamous cells – the thin, flat cells that make up most of the skin’s upper layer (the epidermis).
Squamous cell carcinoma usually appears as a firm red nodule, or a crusted, scaly wound that doesn’t heal. It may develop on skin that has been exposed to the sun for many years. But it can also occur on areas of skin not ordinarily exposed to sunlight. It often arises from actinic keratoses (AKs), rough-textured spots caused by years of sun exposure.
If left untreated, it can grow larger and deeper into nearby tissue, destroying surrounding healthy tissue and invading organs and blood vessels. In rare cases, it may spread to distant parts of the body such as the lungs or other organs – especially if it isn’t treated promptly.
Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer. It begins in the outer layer of skin, which is called the epidermis. This type of cancer is easy to diagnose, but it can be fatal if left untreated.
Squamous cell carcinoma usually occurs on areas of your body that have been damaged by the sun. That’s because ultraviolet light from the sun damages your skin cells and changes their growth pattern.
These cancers generally occur on parts of the body that get the most sun exposure, such as the face, lips, ears and back of hands. But squamous cell carcinoma can also form on other areas, including your genitals and areas exposed to industrial chemicals or radiation.
Most squamous cell carcinomas can be cured if they’re found early and treated. But squamous cell carcinoma can grow deep into your skin and spread to surrounding lymph nodes or other organs. If these cancers are not diagnosed and treated early, they may be hard to control or they may come back after treatment.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), one of the two main types of skin cancer, is a malignant tumor that begins in the squamous cells, which make up 90% of the top layer of skin (the epidermis).
SCC is often caused by exposure to ultraviolet light, especially from sunlight. SCC is most common among older adults and can occur on any area of the skin.
The most common sign of SCC is a sore that doesn’t heal within a few weeks and bleeds easily. Other signs include scaly or crusty red patches, open sores with raised borders and a central depression, and warts that bleed.
Treating SCC depends on its size and location, as well as your age, general health and other factors. Surgical removal is an option for many people and can be performed in several ways. Pre-cancers may respond to treatment with liquid nitrogen or certain creams that destroy precancerous cells. If the tumor has spread beyond the skin and into the lymph nodes, chemotherapy or radiation therapy might be needed.