Although being diagnosed with any type or severity of cancer can be terrifying, the diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma is often quite treatable. It is usually the result of repeated sun exposure, often as a rough or red growth in persons who have spent extensive time outside without adequate or regular protection from the sun. Fortunately, this type of cancer is often diagnosed early, due largely to the fact that its development is typically very obvious and difficult to ignore. Therefore, if you have recently been diagnosed with a squamous cell carcinoma, you need to be familiar with the information shared below.
Surgical Removal Of The Growth And Its Surrounding Tissue Is Usually The First Step After Diagnosis
Regardless of where the cancer is found, your oncologist will almost definitely want to remove it as soon as possible. Since a common fear for many patients with skin cancer is disfigurement, it is important to know that there are different ways to excise cancerous tissue when it is found in delicate or challenging locations.
For example, if you were one of the estimated 61,760 people in the United States who was diagnosed with head or neck cancer in 2016, you might have been concerned about the aesthetic aspects resulting from the surgery. Common concerns are pitting, scarring, and discoloration of the affected area. Fortunately, there are less invasive options that may be appropriate if saving as much of the healthy skin and minimizing the effects of the surgery is important, as seen below.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery Can Reduce The Physical Impact Of The Surgery
Given the aforementioned concerns about deformations after removing cancerous tissues, many surgeons are now providing a Mohs micrographic procedure. You should be aware that if you are eligible for this procedure, you will probably spend more time under the knife than you would with other procedures because it is such an exacting process.
For instance, the surgeon will normally remove a single layer of skin at a time, along with small amounts of the surrounding tissue. Each layer will be analyzed for cancer and the surgery ends soon after the removed tissue is negative for cancer. In many cases, it is possible for immediate reconstruction of the affected area to occur. However, if the potential for deformation is not significant, your physician may recommend allowing it to heal without any further intervention.
Basic Excision Of The Squamous Cells May Be All That Needs To Be Done
When the cancer is not obvious or if its removal does not do any significant damage to your skin, a standard excision is commonly provided. The surgeon will remove the area in question and send it to the lab, along with some surrounding tissue. That tissue will then be checked to verify that the cancer was contained to that growth and had not yet spread.
More than nine out of ten squamous cancers that are excised in this way can be cured the first time. Unfortunately, if the cancer recurs, the cure rate drops to almost eight out of every ten patients.
In conclusion, squamous cell carcinoma is one of the more common examples of skin cancer. While there are numerous treatment options, removing it is almost always recommended and the information shared above will help you to understand your choices. Contact a company like Countryside Dermatology & Laser Center to learn more.
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