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Home / Health / What does a squamous cell carcinoma look like? Stain over the lip was skin cancer

What does a squamous cell carcinoma look like? Stain over the lip was skin cancer



Traci French thought she was dealing with an ordinary but stubborn blemish when she noticed the spot on her lip five years ago.

"It was very flaky, it looked like dry skin." French living in Monrovia, California told TODAY. "It would turn a bit red and then it would look like a pimple would start. Then it would disappear and the dryness reappear. "

The now 50-year-old French woman was worried that the stain would return again and again and showed it to her dermatologist dr. Shirley Chi in Arcadia, California, at her annual skin exam.

"I usually know right away that it's skin cancer. But in this case, it just really looked like a pimple, "said Chi. "It looked like a skin-colored bump."

She recommended that French wait a few months to see if it would disappear. If this was not the case, Chi shaved a sample for a biopsy. The diagnosis: Squamous cell carcinoma, a common skin cancer that occurs most commonly on sun-exposed areas of the body such as the head, neck, back of the hand and lower legs, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

French I had spent a lot of time in the sun from grade 8 to high school doing sports like football and softball. She used sunscreen, but not always on her face.

About 700,000 new cases of squamous cell carcinoma are diagnosed each year in the United States. Chi called it the second worst form of skin cancer after melanoma, as it spreads to other parts of the body and can potentially become life-threatening.

However, if detected early, squamous cell carcinoma will be considered highly curable.

A. Pawlowski is a TODAY contributing editor focused on health news and features, having previously been a writer, producer and editor at CNN.


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