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February 27, 2016 / drjamesfreije

A Basic Overview of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma pic

Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Image: skincancer.org

An otolaryngology head and neck surgery associate with Mount Nittany Physician Group, Dr. James Freije has practiced in the field for more than two decades. During this time, Dr. James Freije has written a number of presentations and publications about topics including squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

A common form of skin cancer, SCC occurs when squamous cells, the cells that make up the outer layer of skin, begin growing uncontrollably. The sudden growth is often the result of overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light either in the form of sunlight or various tanning lights. Due to this, most SCCs occur on parts of the body that are routinely exposed to UV light, such as the arms, legs, and face. These areas typically have various signs of sun damage, including broken blood vessels and age spots. However, there have been several cases where patients develop SCC on other parts of the body, like the genitals.

While SCC can occur in an aggressive form, it is generally only life-threatening when left untreated. When SCC is not properly treated early on, the risk of it growing and spreading to other areas in the body increases. This can result in increased medical complications, some of which are extremely serious. Each year in the United States, around 700,000 new cases of SCC are diagnosed. The disease normally appears as elevated growths or warts on the top layer of skin that bleed or crust over or as open sores or red patches.

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