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Close-up of a squamous cell carcinoma

Close-up of a squamous cell carcinoma

M131/0306

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Credit

DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Squamous cell carcinoma. Close-up of a squamous cell carcinoma. This is one of the most common forms of skin cancer. Squamous cells are flat, scale-like cells in the skin. They can become cancerous after prolonged exposure to strong sunlight or carcinogens such as arsenic, coal and tar. They can be fatal if allowed to spread. If caught in the early stages, the cancerous area can be excised surgically, but radiotherapy or chemotherapy may be necessary if the extent is not known. After the removal of the cancer, follow-up examinations should be made to check for re- occurrence. Exposure to sunlight or carcinogens should also be drastically reduced.

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