Squamous cell carcinoma is the growth of cancerous cells in the epithelium. These cells are squamous in origin, commonly found in the upper layer of the skin or the epidermis. The condition is considered a major form of skin cancer and one that occurs quite commonly. It can develop internally or externally in the body, sometimes located in the linings of the digestive tract, oesophagus, and lungs. It can also occur on the lips, scalp, and back of the hand. One of its main characteristics is the uncontrolled growth of cells that are distinct in appearance, manifesting as lesions with raised edges. Most of the time, squamous cell carcinoma is caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun.
The main treatment for this condition is surgery, which requires the incision of cancer cells including a margin of healthy tissue around it. Such treatment is widely available in Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia where a number of excellent dedicated oncology centres, as well as internationally recognised hospitals, can be found. Apart from excisional surgical options, these countries also offer more advanced surgical procedures and non-invasive therapies like curettage and electrodessication, cryosurgery, radiation therapy, laser surgery, and photodynamic therapy. They use state-of-the-art tools and equipment in performing such procedures to deliver the best possible treatment outcomes. These world-class medical facilities are staffed by highly qualified oncologists (cancer care specialists) and supporting medical personnel, with most trained in renowned medical schools and hospitals in Western countries.
Cancer patients are sure to get affordable, specialised care - from diagnosis to after-treatment support - in Southeast Asia. Several hospitals and medical centres all over the region also offer value added services to its foreign patients, making travel and accommodation arrangements to ensure that patients do not undergo unnecessary stress when seeking treatment.