Squamous Cell CarcinomaI have an ulcerated lesion on the skin on the front of my leg – what can I do?
There is a possibility that this is a squamous cell carcinoma. SCC (squamous cell carcinoma) is a type of skin cancer. According to the British Association of Dermatology, it describes a non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). It is the second most common type of skin cancer in the UK and accounts for almost a quarter of all NMSC’s.
It is like to malignant melanoma. The most important cause of squamous cell carcinoma is too much exposure to sunlight. Mainly in the form of ultraviolet light, and hence also to sunbeds.
Sunlight causes the DNA in the skin cells, called keratinocytes. They are findable on the surface of the skin (the epidermis) to change. The skin cells then grow out of control and develop into an SCC. The ultraviolet light damage can cause the SCC. It can arise in a scaly, itchy area called actinic keratosis, or in Bowen’s disease. These can then change into an SCC if they are not picked up early and treated.
Squamous cell carcinoma also can develop in skin damaged, by other forms of radiation. Such as burns or in persistent chronic ulcers and wounds. For instance on the shins on the front of the legs and in old scars. Even certain human viral wart viruses can be a contributory factor. People who have hade organ transplants are more prone to SCC. As well as people who are on an immunosuppressant.
SCC is not contagious.