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A Squamous Cell Carcinoma Primer

Squamous Cell CarcinomaSkin cancer is a serious topic any time of the year, and even though fall will soon turn into winter, the sun’s harmful rays can still have an effect on your fragile skin. Did you know that Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer?

SCC is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal squamous cells, which make up most of the top layer of your skin.

Knowing what to look for the first step in treating SCC. It’s a good idea to check your entire body, or have it checked, once a year to spot any changes in pre-existing moles or the development of new ones. SCC may look like:

  • An elevated growth with a central depression
  • A wart
  • A thick, scaly red patch that crusts and may bleed
  • An open sore that does not heal

SCCs are particularly common in areas that receive frequent exposure to the sun’s rays, such as your lower lip, the rim of your ears, your face, neck, hands, scalp, and your arms and legs. But every area of your body is a potential site – including your mucous membranes.

The main cause of SCC is exposure to the sun, especially during the summer when the sun is highest in the sky. Did you know that damage from the sun’s rays is cumulative over your lifetime? It’s true. And if you have fair skin and light hair and eyes, or if your occupation or hobby requires you to spend a lot of time in the sun, you are increased risk.

SCCs and other skin cancers are very curable when detected and treated early. To stay on the safe side, it’s best to prevent them in the first place: use a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, seek the shade, wear sunglasses and a hat, and avoiding tanning beds.

We care about you and your skin. And fall is the perfect time to check your body…after a sunny summer of fun in the sun. Call to schedule an appointment, today: (630) 818-7546.

Posted in: Skin Cancer

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