Effective treatments for squamous cell carcinoma
At an early stage, most squamous cell skin cancers are treated. This is only when the cancer cells can be removed or destroyed with local treatments. Small squamous cell carcinoma can be cured by these treatments. However, large squamous cell cancers are difficult to treat. Also, this is a fast-growing type of cancer and has a great risk of reoccurring. In some cases, squamous cell carcinoma can spread to lymph nodes and other distant parts of the body as well. Below are some effective squamous cell carcinoma treatments that are recommended by the doctors.
Different types of surgeries can be conducted to treat squamous cell carcinoma. Excision is one of the types where the tumor is cut along with a small margin of normal skin. The other approach is curettage and electrodesiccation, which is usually used to treat cancer that is smaller than 1 centimeter. It is not recommended for larger tumors. Also, Mohs surgery has the highest rate of curing this type of cancer, and hence, it is one of the best squamous cell carcinoma treatments. It is especially useful for squamous cell carcinoma that is larger than 2 centimeters. It is also recommended for cancer that may have reoccurred after other treatments, for cancer that has spread to the face or genital areas, and for cancer that has spread along the nerves. This surgery, however, is more complex and time-consuming than other types of surgeries.
- Radiation therapy
For people who are diagnosed with a large area of cancer, radiation therapy is a good option. Radiation therapy is a good squamous cell carcinoma treatment option for areas where it can be difficult to perform surgeries like nose, eyes, and ears. It is a great alternative to surgeries. For young patients, it is usually not the first treatment option as it may have long-term risks associated. In case the cancer was not removed in a surgery, a radiation is sometimes used after the surgery. Radiation is also used in cases where cancer comes back even after a surgery or if the cancer is too large or deep to be removed by a surgery.
This is a squamous cell carcinoma treatment option in case of early diagnosis or when people aren’t able to have a surgery. However, it is not a recommended treatment for large invasive tumor or tumor in certain areas of the body like nose, eyelids, legs, or scalp.
- Lymph node dissection
This is an advanced squamous cell carcinoma treatment. If the cancer cells are very large or have grown deeply into the skin as well as the lymph nodes, then removing the nearby lymph nodes may be recommended. The removed lymph nodes are diagnosed under a microscope for cancer cells. Sometimes, radiation therapy is also recommended after lymph node dissection.