Abnormal overgrowth of skin cells resulting in a cancerous mass is generally termed skin cancer. The skin is made up of 2 layers mainly, the epidermis ( outer layer) and the deeper dermis. Skin cancer is of three types, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and basal cell carcinoma.
Chevy Chase squamous cell carcinoma is a type of cancer developing in the middle and outer layers of the skin, in the squamous cells. Squamous cell carcinoma is not a fatal type of cancer but can be aggressive.
In some cases, skin cancer can be diagnosed at home by self-examining the skin. Some of the most common methods to diagnose skin cancer have been mentioned below.
- Examination of the skin: if someone has skin cancer, their skin will change in consistency or color. This change can be self-examined, or a doctor can examine this. However, not all types of skin changes indicate skin cancer.
- Skin Biopsy: A skin sample is removed and sent to the lab for further testing. It is a very reliable method of diagnosing skin cancer.
If you have been tested positive for skin cancer, the doctor then performs further tests to confirm the stage and nature of cancer. Skin cancers are usually benign and do not spread, so these tests are generally performed to confirm the stage of cancer. However, the cancer cells may spread to surrounding tissues or lymph nodes in some severe cases. Therefore a complete scan is run to check whether cancer has spread or not.
The line of treatment depends upon the stage and spread of cancer. If the cancer is benign and minor, the biopsy is performed to confirm it removes the entire mass, and no further treatment is required.
However, severe cases or moderately severe cases require treatment. These methods of treatment include:
- Cryosurgery: The doctor freezes the cancerous cells using liquid nitrogen. Once frozen, the cells cannot grow and can be easily removed.
- Surgery: The doctor removes the cancerous mass and a layer of healthy skin around it. This procedure can be used for any type of cancer.
- Mohs surgery: This method is used for severe cases, usually when cancer has spread to deeper layers of skin. It involves removing the skin layer by layer until healthy skin is reached.
- Chemotherapy: Drugs are used to kill cancerous cells. Also, the doctor may prescribe ointments or creams with anticancer properties, which are applied directly to the cancerous lesion.
- Radiation: In this method, X-rays are used to destroy the cancerous cells.