What is the prognosis for squamous cell carcinoma?
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) can occur in a wide range of body parts
and organs. Some of them include the lungs, skin, esophagus, lips, cervix,
vagina and more. The specific prognosis for squamous cell carcinoma
depends on the organ it has affected, the degree of spread and various
One type of carcinoma is what is called in situ, meaning it is confined to
the original site of the malignancy. This type of cancer does not spread
to other body parts or in other words, it does not cause metastasis. The
other kind of carcinoma is the invasive type, where the malignancy invades
surrounding tissues. Invasive carcinomas are capable of spreading to other
-- often critical -- body organs.
Among skin cancers, squamous cell carcinomas are the second most common
type of cancer. Excessive exposure to sunlight is a major risk factor in
the development of this variety of cancer. The malignancy mostly occurs on
skin areas that are constantly exposed to the sun.
A vaccine for SCC of the skin is under development. Tests on animals are
reported to have been effective in preventing this cancer. We may see a
vaccine available for humans in the next few years.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the single most common type of cancer of the
head and neck region, including cancers of the throat, mouth, nose
structures, etc. A mouth ulcer that does not heal may possibly be a
symptom of this disease. Extensive surgery combined with radiation therapy
is usually the treatment of choice.
SCC can also occur in the lung tissues. It is a fairly common type of lung
cancer among certain demographics.
Cancer of the esophagus may also be of the SCC type. The SCC type of
cancer usually occurs in or near the mouth region. Other cancer varieties
like adenocarcinoma occur less frequently in the mouth region and more
often near the stomach. Those affected by SCC may have difficulty
swallowing solid food. If the condition has not spread, it may be possible
to treat it surgically. In other cases, radiation therapy and chemotherapy
may be used.
So just what is the prognosis for squamous cell carcinoma? This question
does not have any one single answer. As noted above, it depends on many
factors including the body part affected by the disease.