Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer both in the United States and worldwide. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, two Americans lose their lives to skin cancer every hour. There are several different types of skin cancer, some are far more common than others. As a whole, all forms of skin cancer are believed to cost the United States around $8.1 million annually.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer, second only to basal cell carcinoma. It is currently estimated that over one million new cases are diagnosed in the United States every year. Tragically, the disease causes around 15,000 deaths annually.
What Is Squamous Cell Skin Cancer?
Squamous cell carcinoma occurs when damaged skin cells mutate and begin to multiply at an unhealthy rate, forming malignant growths. Most cases are caused by UV damage. As such, it typically appears on the:
- Upper back
- Other sun-exposed areas
Squamous cell skin cancer is relatively easy to treat and has an excellent survival rate. When the disease is caught early, 99 percent of patients survive more than five years beyond the point of diagnosis.
Early diagnosis is essential to ensure successful treatment, as squamous cell carcinoma can spread to other areas of the body if left unchecked. If the cancer spreads to the bones or lymph nodes, it can become very difficult to treat.