Sunday, March 3, 2024

Basal Or Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

How Can You Prevent Basal Cell Carcinoma

Skin Cancer: Basal, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Melanoma, Actinic Keratosis Nursing NCLEX

Being safe in the sun is the best way to prevent BCC and other skin cancers. Here are some tips:

  • Avoid being in the sun from 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Avoid tanning beds.
  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher each day. If you will be outside for longer periods of time, use a broad spectrum sunscreen that is water-resistant and has an SPF of 30 or higher. Put the sunscreen on 30 minutes before going outside. Put sunscreen on again every two hours, or more frequently if you have been swimming or sweating a lot.
  • Use protective clothing that has built-in sun protection, which is measured in UPF. Also, use broad-brimmed hats and sunglasses.
  • Do your own skin self-exam about once per month and see a dermatologist about one time per year for a professional skin exam.
  • Have any skin changes examined as soon as possible by a healthcare provider.

Skin Cancer Support Groups And Counseling

Living with skin cancer presents many new challenges for you and for your family and friends. You will probably have many worries about how the cancer will affect you and your ability to live a normal life, that is, to care for your family and home, to hold your job, and to continue the friendships and activities you enjoy.

Many people with a skin cancer diagnosis feel anxious and depressed. Some people feel angry and resentful others feel helpless and defeated. For most people with skin cancer, talking about their feelings and concerns helps. Your friends and family members can be very supportive. They may be hesitant to offer support until they see how you are coping. Dont wait for them to bring it up. If you want to talk about your concerns, let them know.

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Some people dont want to burden their loved ones, or prefer talking about their concerns with a more neutral professional. A social worker, counselor, or member of the clergy can be helpful. Your dermatologist or oncologist should be able to recommend someone.

Many people with cancer are profoundly helped by talking to other people who have cancer. Sharing your concerns with others who have been through the same thing can be remarkably reassuring. Support groups for people with cancer may be available through the medical center where you are receiving your treatment. The American Cancer Society also has information about support groups throughout the U.S.

Why Should You Be Concerned About Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Untreated squamous cell carcinoma of the skin can destroy nearby healthy tissue, spread to the lymph nodes or other organs, and may be fatal, although this is uncommon. The risk of aggressive squamous cell carcinoma of the skin may be increased in cases where the cancer: Is particularly large or deep.

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Basal Squamous Cell Skin Cancer Treatment

There are different types of treatment for patients with non-melanoma skin cancer, depending on the stage of the cancer and the persons overall health. At Siteman, each patient is treated to give the best outcome for their specific cancer, including standard therapies and novel therapies only available in clinical trials. Thats why careful diagnosis is so important. The standard skin cancer treatments for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy and biologic therapy. Cancer clinical trials are testing many other approaches, some of which are becoming standard of care.

After Skin Cancer Treatment

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer

Most skin cancer is cured surgically in the dermatologist’s office. Of skin cancers that do recur, most do so within three years. Therefore, follow up with your dermatologist as recommended. Make an appointment immediately if you suspect a problem.

If you have advanced malignant melanoma, your oncologist may want to see you every few months. These visits may include total body skin exams, regional lymph node checks, and periodic chest X-rays and body scans. Over time, the intervals between follow-up appointments will increase. Eventually these checks may be done only once a year.

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What Are Symptoms Of Squamous Cell Cancer

Squamous cell cancer can occur anywhere on the skin, but it tends to develop on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the face, ear, scalp, shoulders, neck, lips, backs of the hands, and forearms.

Squamous cell cancers may look like:

  • Rough or scaly red patches, which might crust or bleed
  • Raised growths or lumps, sometimes with a depressed area in the center
  • Open sores that dont completely heal, or that heal and return
  • A flat area that is only slightly different from normal skin

Excision With Postoperative Margin Assessment

Another therapeutic option for both basal cell and squamous cell cancers is excision with POMA, consisting of standard surgical excision followed by postoperative pathologic assessment of margins. The clinical margins chosen by the panel for low-risk tumors are based on the work of Brodland and Zitelli74 and Wolf and Zitelli.75 Their analysis indicated that excision of basal or squamous cell tumors smaller than 2 cm in diameter and clinically well circumscribed should result in complete removal if 4-mm clinical margins are taken. Any peripheral rim of erythema around a squamous cell cancer must be included in what is assumed to be the tumor. The panel expanded the clinical margins for squamous cell cancers to 4 to 6 mm because of this issue and concerns about achieving complete removal. The indications for this approach were also expanded to include 1) reexcision of low-risk primary basal cell and squamous cell cancers located on the trunk and extremities , if positive margins are obtained after an initial excision with POMA, and 2) primary excision of larger tumors located in L regions, deemed high-risk because of their size, if 10-mm margins can be taken.

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How The Stage Is Determined

Once you have been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, your doctor will want to determine its stage. While the risk of this type of cancer spreading is low, determining the stage will help your doctor develop the best treatment plan.

The TNM system is a uniform system for staging many types of cancer. TNM stands for:

  • T is for tumor: How far has the primary tumor grown through the layers of skin or to nearby tissues?
  • N is for nodes: Have cancer cells spread to the lymph nodes near the tumor?
  • M is for metastasis: Has the cancer metastasized to distant sites in the body such as the lungs or liver?

Skin Cancer Doctor Discussion Guide

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Risk Factors For Squamous Cell Carcinoma

How Dangerous are Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Sun exposure and other risk factors

Sun exposure is the major known environmental factor associated with the development of skin cancer of all types however, different patterns of sun exposure are associated with each major type of skin cancer. Unlike BCC, SCC is associated with chronic exposure, rather than intermittent, intense exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Occupational exposure is the characteristic pattern of sun exposure that is associated with SCC. Other agents and factors associated with SCC risk include tanning beds, arsenic, therapeutic radiation , chronic skin ulceration, and immunosuppression. For more information on exposures that can cause skin cancer in the general population, see Skin Cancer Prevention.

Characteristics of the skin

Like melanoma and BCC, SCC occurs more frequently in individuals with lighter skin than in those with darker skin. A case-control study of 415 cases and 415 controls showed similar findings relative to Fitzpatrick type I skin, individuals with increasingly darker skin had decreased risks of skin cancer . The same study found that blue eyes and blond/red hair were also associated with increased risks of SCC, with crude ORs of 1.7 for blue eyes, 1.5 for blond hair, and 2.2 for red hair. For more information, see the section on Pigmentary characteristics in the Melanoma section.

Immunosuppression

Personal history of BCC, SCC, and melanoma skin cancers

Family history of squamous cell carcinoma or associated premalignant lesions

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What Will Happen After Treatment

Youll be glad when treatment is over. Your doctor will want you to check your skin at least once a month. It will be very important to protect yourself from getting too much sun.

For years after treatment ends, you will see your skin cancer doctor. At first, your visits may be every few months. Then, the longer youre cancer-free, the less often the visits are needed. Be sure to go to all of these follow-up visits. Your doctor will ask about symptoms and check you for signs of the cancer coming back or a new skin cancer. Other exams and tests may also be done.

Having cancer and dealing with treatment can be hard, but it can also be a time to look at your life in new ways. You might be thinking about how to improve your health. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or talk to your cancer care team to find out what you can do to feel better.

You cant change the fact that you have cancer. What you can change is how you live the rest of your life making healthy choices and feeling as good as you can.

Different Kinds Of Skin Cancer

There are many types of skin cancer. Some are very rare. Your doctor can tell you more about the type you have.

The two most common kinds of skin cancers are:

  • Basal cell cancer, which starts in the lowest layer of the skin
  • Squamous cell cancer, which starts in the top layer of the skin

Another kind of skin cancer is called melanoma. These cancers start from the color-making cells of the skin . You can read about melanoma in If You Have Melanoma Skin Cancer.

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What Is Skin Cancer

Cancer can start any place in the body. Skin cancer starts when cells in the skin grow out of control.

Skin cancer cells can sometimes spread to other parts of the body, but this is not common. When cancer cells do this, its called metastasis. To doctors, the cancer cells in the new place look just like the ones from the skin.

Cancer is always named based on the place where it starts. So if skin cancer spreads to another part of the body, its still called skin cancer.

The skin

Ask your doctor to use this picture to show you where your cancer is

Do Basal Cell Carcinoma And Melanoma Look Different

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Symptoms, Prognosis &  Treatment

The first sign of basal cell carcinoma is usually a small white or flesh-colored skin bump that grows slowly and may bleed. On the other hand, the first sign of melanoma is often a noticeable change in a mole, such as:

  • Asymmetry. The shape of one half of the mole does not mirror the other half.
  • An irregular border. The edges of the mole may be ragged, notched or blurred, with the pigment appearing to spread into the surrounding skin.
  • Uneven coloring. The mole may display shades of black, brown, tan, white, gray, red, pink or blue.
  • An increase in diameter. There is a change in size, usually an increase. Melanomas can be tiny, but most are larger than the size of a pea .
  • Evolution. The mole has changed over the past few weeks or months.

A skin biopsy is the only way to diagnose basal cell carcinoma or melanoma. A physician can remove a small portion of suspicious tissue, then send it to a lab to be analyzed under a microscope for evidence of cancer. Therefore, it is important to promptly discuss any unusual skin changes with a physician.

If you have been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma or melanoma, a skin cancer specialist at Moffitt Cancer Center can offer a second opinion after reviewing your lab work, biopsies and images. Or, if you have a suspicious skin lesion, you can have it checked at Moffitt with or without a referral. To request an appointment, call or submit a new patient registration form online.

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Medical Treatment For Skin Cancer

Surgical removal is the mainstay of skin cancer treatment for both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. For more information, see Surgery.People who cannot undergo surgery may be treated by external radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is the use of a small beam of radiation targeted at the skin lesion. The radiation kills the abnormal cells and destroys the lesion. Radiation therapy can cause irritation or burning of the surrounding normal skin. It can also cause fatigue. These side effects are temporary. In addition, topical chemotherapy creams have been FDA approved for the treatment of certain low-risk nonmelanoma skin cancers. Patients with advanced or many basal cell carcinomas are sometimes prescribed oral pills to block the growth of these cancers. Side effects include muscle spasms, hair loss, taste changes, weight loss and fatigue.

In advanced cases of melanoma, immune therapies, vaccines, or chemotherapy may be used. These treatments are typically offered as clinical trials. Clinical trials are studies of new therapies to see if they can be tolerated and work better than existing therapies.

Recurrent Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinomas are the most common type of skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. These cancers develop within the basal cell layer of the skin, in the lowest part of the epidermis.

Patients who have had basal cell carcinoma once have an increased risk of developing a recurrent basal cell cancer. Basal cell cancers may recur in the same location that the original cancer was found or elsewhere in the body. As many as 50 percent of cancer patients are estimated to experience basal cell carcinoma recurrence within five years of the first diagnosis.

Basal cell carcinomas typically grow slowly, and it is rare for them to metastasize or spread to nearby lymph nodes or other parts of the body. But early detection and treatment are important.

After completing treatment for basal cell carcinoma, it is important to perform regular self-examinations of the skin to look for new symptoms, such as unusual growths or changes in the size, shape or color of an existing spot. Skin cancers typically develop in areas of the body that are exposed to the sun, but they may also develop in areas with no sun exposure. Tell your oncologist or dermatologist about any new symptoms or suspicious changes you may have noticed.

  • Have a history of eczema or dry skin
  • Have been exposed to high doses of UV light
  • Had original carcinomas several layers deep in the skin
  • Had original carcinomas larger than 2 centimeters

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Tests That May Be Done

The doctor will ask you questions about when the spot on your skin first showed up and if it has changed in size or the way it looks or feels. The rest of your skin will be checked. During the exam your doctor will check the size, shape, color and texture of any skin changes. If signs are pointing to skin cancer, more tests will be done.

Skin biopsy

In a biopsy, the doctor takes out a small piece of tissue to check it for cancer cells. A biopsy is the only way to tell for sure if you have skin cancer and what kind it is.

There are many types of skin biopsies. Ask your doctor what kind you will need. Each type has pros and cons. The choice of which type to use depends on your own case.

In rare cases basal and squamous cell skin cancer can spread to the nearby lymph nodes Ask your doctor if your lymph nodes will be tested.

Basal and squamous cell cancers don’t often spread to other parts of the body. But if your doctor thinks your skin cancer might spread, you might need imaging tests, such as MRI or CT scans.

Minor Genes For Melanoma

Skin cancer types treatment: melanoma basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma

MC1R

The MC1R gene, otherwise known as the alpha melanocyte-stimulating hormone receptor, is located on chromosome 8. Partial loss-of-function pathogenic variants, of which there are at least ten, are associated not only with red hair, fair skin, and poor tanning, but also with increased skin cancer risk independent of cutaneous pigmentation. A comprehensive meta-analysis of more than 8,000 cases and 50,000 controls showed the highest risk of melanoma in individuals with MC1R variants associated with red hair however, alleles not associated with red hair have also been linked to increased melanoma risk. Additional phenotypic associations have been found. In different studies, MC1R variants were found to be associated with lentigo maligna melanoma and increased risk of melanoma for individuals with no red hair, no freckles, and Fitzpatrick type III or IV skin . Pooled studies of 5,160 cases and 12,119 controls from 17 sites calculated that melanoma risk attributable to MC1R variants is 28%, suggesting that these variants may be an important contributor to melanoma risk in the general population. In addition, individuals with MPMs have a high likelihood of carrying an MC1R pathogenic variant. In one study of 46 individuals with 3 or more primary melanomas, 43 individuals had an MC1R pathogenic variant.

Other pigmentary genes

MITF

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What About Other Treatments That I Hear About

When you have cancer you might hear about other ways to treat the cancer or treat your symptoms. These may not always be standard medical treatments. These treatments may be vitamins, herbs, special diets, and other things. You may wonder about these treatments.

Some of these are known to help, but many have not been tested. Some have been shown not to help. A few have even been found to be harmful. Talk to your doctor about anything youre thinking about using, whether its a vitamin, a diet, or anything else.

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