Though it’s usually not life-threatening, squamous cell carcinoma can grow and spread to other parts of your body, which makes getting expert treatment early critical to protecting your overall health. Desiree Ratner, MD, in New York City offers diagnosis and treatment for squamous cell carcinoma at her practice in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood. With more than 23 years of experience, you’re in expert hands with Dr. Ratner. Call to schedule a consultation today to learn more.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. Like basal cell carcinoma, it mostly occurs on sun-exposed areas of the skin. It may grow more rapidly than basal cell carcinoma, and if left untreated, can spread to the lymph nodes and other organs. It is therefore important to treat squamous cell carcinomas completely after they are diagnosed. Squamous cell carcinoma develops more often in people with fair skin and hair and light eyes. The abnormal growths are generally triggered by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, either from tanning or spending a lot of time outdoors in the sun.
Squamous cell carcinomas can appear differently. They may look like a wart or raised growth with a central depression. They may or may not be crusty or bleed. In some cases, a squamous cell carcinoma might look like a patch of scaly red skin or an open sore.
When it comes to identifying skin cancer, practicing regular self-exams is very important. It helps you to become familiar with your skin so you can monitor it for any signs of abnormality, including new skin growths or changes to any existing moles.
If you do notice something new or strange on your skin, make an appointment with Dr. Ratner for a professional skin screening.
Dr. Ratner generally treats squamous cell carcinomas by removing them. For low-risk skin cancers, excisional surgery, freezing, or scraping and burning may be used. For high-risk skin cancers, she more often uses Mohs surgery or excisional surgery. It’s important to have squamous cell carcinomas removed as promptly as possible. When left untreated, the growths can grow and become disfiguring or spread to other parts of the body, including the lymphatic system.
The most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of squamous cell carcinoma and other forms of skin cancer is to take care to avoid overexposure to UV rays from the sun or tanning beds. You should always wear sunscreen outdoors, even if it’s cloudy or you don’t expect to spend much time outside. Make sure to reapply sunscreen liberally if you’re swimming or sweating. You can stay inside when the sun is at its strongest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
If you’re concerned about squamous cell carcinoma or other forms of skin cancer, call Dr. Ratner’s Manhattan office today for expert diagnosis and treatment.