Squamous cell carcinoma treatment
depends on several factors: clinical and histological characteristic of the tumor, your age and general health,
other medications you are taking, etc. unlike many other cancers, squamous cell carcinoma is often diagnosed at
an early stage. In fact, healing occurs in more than 90% of squamous cell carcinomas, when treated effectively.
The treatment of choice for
squamous cell carcinoma is surgery. In case the lesion is extensive, and the surgery leaves scar, you will
receive skin grafts. If you too fragile for surgery or the tumor is too bid to surgically removed, radiation
therapy combined with local chemotherapy may be performed.
In general, treatment of
squamous cell carcinoma includes surgery, electrocautery, cryosurgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and
immunotherapy, and more recently photherapy.
Also called cryosurgery,
cryoablation or targeted cryoablation therapy, cryotherapy is the use or application of extreme cold to destroy
diseased tissue, including cancerous cells. During the procedure, your physician uses a cryoprobe, a surgical
instrument used to conduct intense cold to small areas of body tissues in order to destroy them. To position the
cryoprobe precisely on the treated area, the therapist can use imaging techniques. He visualizes the movement of
the device in real time on a monitor like a television screen.
Surgery is the essential
treatment for squamous cell carcinoma; In fact, most squamous cell carcinomas detected and removed early are
successfully treated with surgery alone. It is estimated that 80% of skin cancers – when detected early - are
effectively treated with surgery. Depending on the extension of the tumor, your surgeon can perform an
excisional surgery, laser therapy, Mohs surgery or curettage.
surgery – this
is, by far,the most
common skin cancer surgical treatment. It consists of using a scalpel to remove cancerous
tissue and a surrounding margin of healthy skin.
- Laser therapy
method consists of using high-intensity
light to kill cancerous tissue in order to shrink or destroy tumors.
- Mohs surgery
procedure is used to treat large basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell
carcinoma. During the
procedure, your surgeon removes the skin growth layer by layer, and immediately examines
each layer under microscopeto search for cancer cells.
- Curettage and
this is a simple procedurepracticed,
most of the times,to
treat small basal cell and
squamous cell tumors. It consists of removing the tumor from the skin with a curette, a surgical instrument designed for scraping
biological tissue or debris. After the tumor is removed, your
surgeon will use an electric needle to cauterize the remaining cancer cells.
Chemotherapy is an
important tool in the treatment of advanced or
metastatic skin cancer. It consists of
using strong chemical agents to destroy cancer cells in the entire organism. Usually, chemotherapy drugs act by
damaging cancer cells and preventing them from multiplying. The protocol varies depending on the stage of the
cancer and your general health. In early stage cancers, creams or lotions containing anti-cancer agents can be
used to kill the cancer cells. These chemotherapeutic agents can be administered alone or in combination. En
general, the most effective therapeutic option will be considered.
Radiotherapy is a local
therapy that treats a specific part of your body. The treatment consists of using ionizing radiation to destroy cancer cells in order to shrink or
eliminate the tumor. Radiation is often practiced in advanced or metastatic skin cancer to relieve symptoms.
Radiotherapy can be used in association with surgical therapy or alone when surgery is not an option.
Biological therapy (Immunotherapy)
therapy (immunotherapy) consists of using drugs to stimulate the immune system to help your body fight the
cancer cells. Immunotherapy drugs act by activating your immune cells so they attack cancer cells and destroy
them. Interferon and interleukin-2 are the two most used drugs in the treatment of skin cancer. Their common
adverse effects include:
This new form of therapy
involves application of a photosensitizing substance (causing susceptibility of tissue to certain lights) on the
skin for several hours before exposing it to a blue or red light. The substance is applied on the skin as a
liquid or a cream containing aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA-HCl) or methyl aminolevulinate (MAL). Once on the skin,
the drug is absorbed by the diseased tissue and sebaceous glands. Exposure to the light activates the substance
in the tissue, and causes its destruction. You will need to avoid direct sunlight for at least six weeks after
often used in the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). When they are used at high doses (3 to 4 mg / kg),
they significantly reduce the size of large SCC. These drugs can be used alone or in combination with
interferon. The combination of retinoids and interferon in the treatment of inoperable or advanced squamous cell
carcinoma can provide satisfactory results. However, in some patients, retinoids often cause side
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Stages Squamous Cell Carcinoma Survival Rates