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Different Treatment Options For Squamous Cell Carcinoma

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Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that grows in the cells of the outer layer of skin and may looks like warts or sores. As long as it is detected in the early stages, it is highly curable. Let's take a look at some of the different treatment options available for squamous cell carcinoma:

Excisional Surgery

With this treatment, a doctor will remove the skin cancer and the skin surrounding it with a scalpel. The tissue that was excised will get sent to a laboratory to make sure that all the cancerous cells were removed. If cancerous cells are found, it may be necessary to have a second excisional surgery at a later date.


Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to destroy cancer cells. During this procedure, a doctor will apply liquid nitrogen to the skin cancer growth through a spray device. The growth will turn into a scab and eventually fall off on its own. Cryotherapy doesn't require anesthesia and you don't have to worry about being left with scars. 


During electrosurgery, a doctor will scrape off the cancerous growth with a curette. The heat from this instrument is what essentially destroys that cancerous growth. This procedure has high success rates, but it usually needs to be repeated a few times. Because this procedure can leave a visible scars, it's not recommended for the eyelids, lips or ears.


Radiation involves aiming x-ray beams on the skin cancer tumor and doesn't require cutting or anesthesia. It requires several treatments for up to four weeks. Because radiation can lead to cosmetic and health problems in the future, it is typically only used on tumors that can't be treated with surgery.

Photodynamic Therapy

During photodynamic therapy, a drug called a photosensitizing agent and light are used to destroy skin cancer cells. First, your doctor will inject the photosensitizing agent into your bloodstream. Once it has absorbed in your bloodstream for 24 to 72 hours, your doctor will shine a light on photosensitizing agent in the tumor. This will officially kill the cancerous tumor. After the treatment, your skin will be sensitive to light for a while, so you might need to avoid sunlight as much as you can.

The amount of skin cancer treatments available for squamous cell carcinoma might make you feel overwhelmed. Your doctor can examine your individual condition and help you determine the best treatment option.