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New Treatments for Squamous Cell Carcinoma [Video]

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Skin Cancer

New Treatments for Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a type of skin cancer that arises from the squamous cells in the outermost layer of the skin. It is one of the most common forms of skin cancer and can occur on any part of the body, but is most commonly found on areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, and hands. Fortunately, there are several effective treatments available for SCC.

One of the primary treatment options for SCC is surgical excision. This involves removing the tumor along with a margin of healthy tissue surrounding it. The size and depth of the tumor determine how much tissue needs to be removed. In some cases, this may result in a small scar or deformity, but it is generally well-tolerated by patients.

Another treatment option for SCC is Mohs micrographic surgery. This technique involves removing thin layers of tissue one at a time and examining them under a microscope until no more cancer cells are detected. Mohs surgery has a high cure rate and allows for preservation of healthy tissue, making it particularly suitable for tumors located in cosmetically sensitive areas or those with ill-defined borders.

Radiation therapy can also be used to treat SCC. It involves using high-energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or prevent them from growing further. Radiation therapy may be used as an alternative to surgery if the tumor cannot be easily removed due to its location or size. It can also be used after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

Topical medications are another option for treating SCC in certain cases. These medications are applied directly to the affected area and work by causing damage to cancer cells or boosting the immune system’s ability to fight off cancerous growths. One commonly used topical medication is imiquimod cream, which stimulates an immune response against abnormal skin cells.

Immunotherapy is a cutting-edge treatment option that harnesses the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. It works by stimulating the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells specifically. This approach has shown promising results in various types of cancers, including SCC. Immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors have been approved for use in advanced SCC cases and have demonstrated significant improvements in survival rates.

Targeted therapy, on the other hand, involves using drugs that specifically target certain molecules or pathways involved in cancer growth and progression. These therapies are designed to disrupt specific cellular processes that are essential for tumor growth while sparing healthy cells. In SCC cases where specific genetic mutations or alterations are present, targeted therapies can be particularly effective.

Both immunotherapy and targeted therapy offer new hope for patients with advanced SCC who may not have responded well to traditional treatments. However, it is important to note that these treatments may come with potential side effects and should be administered under close medical supervision.

There are several effective treatment options available for squamous cell carcinoma. Surgical excision and Mohs micrographic surgery are commonly used to remove tumors, while radiation therapy can be used as an alternative or adjuvant treatment. Topical medications may be suitable for certain cases, while systemic treatments like immunotherapy or targeted therapy are reserved for advanced disease. The choice of treatment depends on various factors such as the size and location of the tumor, its stage, and the patient’s overall health. Early detection and prompt treatment are crucial in achieving successful outcomes in SCC management.

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