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By Anonymous April 7, 2016 - 6:42am
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how fast does squamous cancer caner grow
i have a spot on my arm that come up on my arm in 3 weeks how bad is the spot on my arm

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Hello Anonymous,

Welcome to EmpowHER. Thank you for coming to our community with your questions.

Has your primary care physician or dermatologist looked at this new spot on your arm?
If not, and it is causing you concern, please contact your physician to schedule an appointment.
I can appreciate your initial reaction that this must be a cancerous lesion, but not necessarily.

I am glad to provide you with general information regarding squamous cell carcinoma.

Squamous cells are flat cells that look like fish scales. The word "squamous" came from the Latin squama meaning "the scale of a fish or serpent."

We have a lot of squamous cells. They make up most of the cells in the outer layer of the skin , which is called he epidermis, the passages of the respiratory and digestive tracts, and the linings of the hollow organs of the body.

Anonymous, since you are concerned about the spot on your arm, I will focus on squamous cell cancer of the skin.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arising in the squamous cells, which compose most of the skin’s upper layers. SCCs often look like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed.

SCC is mainly caused by ultraviolet (UV) exposure over the course of a lifetime; daily year-round exposure to the sun’s UV light, intense exposure in the summer months, and the UV produced by tanning beds all add to the damage that can lead to SCC.

Squamous cell carcinomas typically appear as persistent, thick, rough, scaly patches that can bleed if bumped, scratched or scraped. They often look like warts and sometimes appear as open sores with a raised border and a crusted surface.

Signs of SCC can include any change in a preexisting skin growth, such as an open sore that fails to heal, or the development of a new growth, which should prompt an immediate visit to a physician.

Early detection offers the best prognosis. Squamous cell carcinomas and other skin cancers are almost always curable when detected and treated early.

Squamous cell carcinomas detected at an early stage and removed promptly are almost always curable and cause minimal damage.

However, left untreated, they eventually penetrate the underlying tissues and can become disfiguring. A small percentage even metastasize to local lymph nodes, distant tissues, and organs and can become fatal.

Therefore, any suspicious growth should be seen by a physician without delay. A tissue sample (biopsy) will be examined under a microscope to arrive at a diagnosis. If tumor cells are present, treatment is required.

Anonymous, I hope this information is helpful to you. Please keep us updated once you have seen your physician.


April 7, 2016 - 8:10am
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