My experience with squamous skin cancer can make  someone else’s easier.

I first discovered my squamous skin cancer early one morning, in 1990, as I felt a small unusual lump on the side of my neck.

I won't focus on my story here, but only on the disease itself.

I overcame my stage 4 squamous skin cancer and you can too.

Others experiences and information make it easier for you or someone you know, who may have this disease, to make better decisions.

Recognizing and detecting it early yields a high cure rate.

Always realize that excessive sun exposure puts you at a higher risk.

Even the sun damage from a severe sunburn in your childhood can lead, sooner or later, to squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma or any skin cancer.

As I continue, I’ll be including some facts and information from my own personal experiences and research.

You will see some photos of squamous cell cancer at various stages. (Not necessarily corresponding with the surrounding text.)

They are for you to see how it appeared on these individuals. It may appear differently, as it did on me.

I do not present this information as a Doctor or medical expert of any kind.

I tell it to you from my own research, opinions and experiences.

The squamous skin cancer I had occured in my mouth and on each side of my neck.

It did not look like any of the pictures shown here, but my diagnosis was definitely squamous cell carcinoma.

It can, and does, manifest itself in varying ways.

Mine was referred to as head and neck cancer, and in particular, oral squamous cell cancer.

Around 90% of oral cancers are squamous cell carcinoma. I will talk more about this kind a little further down.

Squamous skin cancer is the second most common after basal cell. If not treated properly it can grow to vital organs and be deadly.

Learn to recognize and detect it early. It's highly curable at that stage. Seek prompt treatment.

Signs and symptoms of Squamous Skin Cancer

• It can begin as a small bump or lump, often unnoticeable

• A slow growing reddish appearance on the skin

• Usually shows up on most sun exposed areas

• An ulcer on the lip which bleeds

• A tumor which lies below the level of the skin

These are general signs. It may appear different.

Squamous cell cancer is hard to detect in its early stages. It could appear as a small scaly reddish area on your skin and then begin to crust and ulcerate. Areas that have had the most sun exposure or have been treated with radiation are at the highest risk.

Squamous cell cancers that are caused by factors other than sun exposure are more likely to spread, making them more deadly.

Squamous skin cancer can grow quickly, become deadly and kill 5% of those to whom this happens.

• Generaly, the tumor grows slow.

• If it is oral, it has a substantial risk of spreading.

See Skin Cancer Warning Signs.

Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This is the type I experienced. It affects approximately 30,000 Americans each year, most over the age of 50.

More than 95% smoke, drink alcohol or both.

It is hard to detect in the early stages and requires detection by screening to be curable and prevent fatality.

It is usually treated with surgery, radiation or both. The survival rate is 50% within a 5 year period.

I was treated with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, in that order. That’s what it took to remove 100% of it.

You can read my story here.

I was advised that I have a 50% chance of surviving 10 years.

I beat the odds. Here's what I did on my part.

I changed to a very healthy lifestyle.

Many years have now gone by since 1990 and I’m so thankful to be here.

Believe me though, I HAVE PAID GREAT ATTENTION TO MY HEALTH. I have determined to be in the best health possible and enjoy my life the absolute best I am able to.

I began with a Macrobiotic Diet and through the years I've followed other natural alternative methods to strengthen and improve my immune system.

I’m still here to enjoy my family and grandchildren.

OK, I know, I said above that I only wanted to focus on this disease called squamous skin cancer.

It's just that I feel it is very important to convey to any one who visits my site, the absolute importance of living a healthy lifestyle for prevention and survival of any disease.

If you still get hit with a disease, can you guess what’s still important?

It's still your health and whatever you can do to improve it.

It's never too late to implement healty changes to your life.

I know it’s quite hard at some times. I live in the same world you do and I know what’s in front of our face everyday.

Nevertheless, better health equals better quality and more enjoyment of life.

Anyone can start on that road today.

So always see your doctor as quickly as you need to and do your best to preserve your health, starting from whatever point you are at.

You've heard it said that laughter is the best medicine. Sometimes it can hard to find a reason, but don't ever underestimate the power it has.

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Updated July 1, 2015


Hi! My name is Nick and I’m 56 yrs. old and this is part of my story. Let me tell you, I was like a lot of people out there and I had no idea that skin cancer was anything bad. I had Basal cell back in 2007, but that was no big deal and it was removed and that was the end of that. No one told me that it was a type of skin cancer (I looked it up on my computer). But still no big deal, it would not kill me.
But I did know the word "Melanoma"....." --by Nick

Read more of Nick's Story

Scared to Death!!! - by Shelly

Our Cancer Stories are so similar, mine and Gary's! - by Valerie  

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Bottom Line
The Weather Channel has done well posting this information and photos to help you spot skin cancer, including melanoma.
It can be hard to spot, even for a professional.
The bottom line is to get an expert's opinion about any suspicious mole or lesion on your skin. If necessary, get a second opinion  and/or request a biopsy. it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Don’t put your very life at risk!