Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a type of skin cancer that arises from the squamous cells in the upper layers of the skin. It is one of the most common types of skin cancer, and it can be serious if left untreated. However, with early detection and prompt treatment, SCC can usually be cured. In this article, we will discuss the prevention and screening of SCC, including frequently asked questions and their explanations.
Prevention of SCC:
Preventing SCC involves reducing your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is a major risk factor for skin cancer. Here are some tips for preventing SCC:
Use sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to all exposed skin, including your face, neck, ears, and the backs of your hands. Reapply every two hours or more often if you are swimming or sweating.
Seek shade: Avoid the sun during the hours when the UV rays are the strongest, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Wear protective clothing: Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Avoid tanning beds: Tanning beds emit UV radiation that can cause skin damage and increase your risk of skin cancer.
Check your skin regularly: Look for any changes in moles, freckles, or other spots on your skin. If you notice any changes, see a dermatologist right away.
Screening for SCC:
Screening for SCC involves a visual examination of the skin by a dermatologist or other healthcare professional. The goal of screening is to detect skin cancer early, when it is most treatable. Here are some frequently asked questions about SCC screening:
Q: Who should get screened for SCC?
A: Anyone who has a history of skin cancer, a family history of skin cancer, or has had significant sun exposure should consider getting screened for SCC.
Q: How often should I get screened for SCC?
A: The frequency of screening depends on your individual risk factors. Your dermatologist can advise you on how often you should be screened.
Q: What can I expect during an SCC screening?
A: During an SCC screening, your dermatologist will examine your skin from head to toe, looking for any suspicious lesions or growths. They may use a dermatoscope, which is a special magnifying tool, to get a closer look at any suspicious areas.
Q: What happens if my dermatologist finds a suspicious lesion or growth?
A: If your dermatologist finds a suspicious lesion or growth, they may recommend a biopsy, which involves removing a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope. If the biopsy confirms that the lesion is SCC, your dermatologist will recommend the appropriate treatment.