Skin cancer: Doctor explains dangers of squamous cell carcinoma
Repeated exposure to UV rays from the sun can lead to the abnormal proliferation of skin cells.
During warmer weather, typical of spring and summer, the hands tend to always be on show.
“Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer of the hand,” notes the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH).
The organisation says: “Squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, may look like a cut or infection that does not heal.”
If caught in the earliest of stages, squamous cell carcinoma can be treated successfully, the Skin Cancer Foundation notes.
Should the cancer have enough time to become more advanced, then it can be “dangerous”.
Squamous cell carcinomas can appear as thick, rough, scaly patches that may crust or bleed.
The lesions are typically surrounded by sun-damaged skin that could be wrinkled or have a change in pigment colouring, or a loss of elasticity.
Sometimes squamous cell carcinoma can resemble warts, or open sores that don’t completely heal.
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The Skin Cancer Foundation adds: “Sometimes SCCs [squamous cell carcinomas] show up as growths that are raised at the edges with a lower area in the centre that may bleed or itch.”
How to check for SCCs
One of the best things you can do is to book to see a dermatologist when you notice anything unusual on the skin.
Falling under the umbrella of unusual is a sore that fails to heal, or a new spot.
Do keep an eye out for new or changing lesions that grow, bleed, or do not heal.
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Making daily sun protection a priority is “the single most effective way to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer”.
The NHS advises everybody to wear SPF of “at least 30” to protect yourself against the sun.
“If you have lots of moles or freckles, your risk of getting skin cancer is higher than average, so take extra care,” the NHS adds.
The British Association of Dermatologists advises that people should not use sunbeds or sunlamps.
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