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Protect Yourself Against Squamous Cell Carcinoma PDF  | Print |  E-mail
The average person wouldn't walk amid blazing gunfire.  Few of us would leap from a speeding train.  Yet, everyday, millions of people put themselves at risk of grave illness or even death by Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Of all the patients diagnosed with skin cancer each year, 20% are diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma, the second most common skin cancer.  That means nearly 200,000 Americans each year are found to have Squamous cell carcinoma.  The tumors common to SCC usually tend to stay on the skin, but they will sometimes spread, particularly if left untreated.  That's when they are most dangerous.

As in most skin cancers, the people at highest risk of contracting Squamous cell carcinoma are fair skinned blonds or red heads with blue, grey or green eyes.  On the other hand, this is also the type of skin cancer that affects 66% of African American skin cancer patients.  Oddly, in African Americans, their skin cancer is more likely to appear in areas where old skin injuries occurred.  This group of patients may also find Squamous cell carcinoma on the soles of their feet and the palms of their hands. Although people with darker skin tones are less likely to have issues of sunburn, all people are at risk and should use sunscreen with a designated minimum sun protection factor (SPF). Many dermatologists will suggest that an SPF 15 is ample protection, while others will argue that SPF 30 is required for protection.

Like all skin cancers, Squamous cell carcinoma is more likely to affect people who spend too much time in the unprotected ultra violet light of the sun. These cancerous lesions can appear on the upper torso, face, hands, neck, and often on a man's bald scalp.  The outer edge of the ear and the lower lip are most at risk when it comes to spots that may develop Squamous cell carcinoma. This cancer also commonly appears on areas of the skin that have previously suffered some sort of damage.

The signs and symptoms of this skin cancer are almost the same as for the basal cell carcinoma: open, non-healing sores, a crusted area and an inflammation that appears as a raised nodule.  Should you have any concerns about these signs and symptoms, see your health care provider immediately.  This type of cancer can quickly cross the line and become very dangerous.  It's a slow growing cancer, but the cancer is three times more likely to spread once the area of the tumor is bigger than three quarters of an inch.

In addition to taking the normal precautions of staying out of the sun and using sunscreen while in the sun, there are a few other steps that you can take to lower your risk of developing this type of skin cancer.  One way to assist in the prevention of Squamous cell carcinoma on the lips or in the mouth is to stop smoking cigarettes and using tobacco. Don't smoke cigars, cigarillos or pipes, and don't chew tobacco.  Stopping the use of those items is a very important precautionary step to keeping your good health.

It can seem like a sacrifice to give up a few guilty pleasures, but it can make a huge difference in your future.  Protect yourself against Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Kicking the smoking and sunbathing habits seems like a small price to pay for your better health.
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