Squamous Cell Skin Cancer-Diagnosis and Evidence-based, Non-toxic therapies to reduce risk of relapse

Share Button

“The long-term outcome of squamous cell skin cancer is dependent upon several factors…Generally, the long-term outcome is positive, as less than 4% of Squamous cell carcinoma cases are at risk of metastasis

Hi David:

Picture of Squamous Cell Carcinoma (1 of 2)

My wife has been diagnosed with squamous cell skin cancer and will be doing the Moh’s surgery Monday July 10th.

We used to like to go to the ocean and enjoy it’s beauty, including laying in the sun and walking the gorgeous beaches. If we skipped the part about laying in the sun, could we still enjoy the ocean without subjecting her to a reoccurance of SCC?

 

Specifically:

  • we would avoid the sun’s intense rays between 10am and 2pm,
  • apply SPF greater than 30 every 60-80 minutes,
  • wear a long sleeve shirt, pants and a wide brimmed hat

Thank you for your service and helping us through this difficulty. Brent


Hi Brent-

Picture of Squamous Cell Carcinoma with Central Hyperkeratosis

I am sorry to read of your wife’s squamous cell skin cancer diagnosis. You are correct that your first step to reduce her risk of relapse or metastasis is to surgically remove (moh’s) lesion. Also I should state that on average the risk of relapse or spreading is low. Put another way, your wife’s five year average survival rate pretty good.

Your question about possibly continuing to enjoy the beach is the central issue for all cancer patients. And that is the quality of life versus quantity of life. I am sorry for sounding philosophical but I’m hoping to put things in perspective for you.

The least amount of risk you can take would be for your wife to sit in a dark room for the rest of her life. Low quality of life but increased quantity of life in theory. Extreme but I’m trying to make a point. The greatest risks your wife could take would be to spent lots of time in the sun taking none of the precautions you mention above. Higher quality of life but reduced length of life in theory.

Okay, now that I’ve outlined quality vs. quantity I’ll try to answer your questions. Everything you mentioned-

  • no more suntanning,
  • little time outside between 10-2:00,
  • applying sun tan lotion,
  • wearing a hat, etc.

all will reduce your wife’s risk of either relapse or metastasis of her SCC.

Since I myself have an increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer I will include two additional steps that I take:

  1.  there are a number of evidence-based, non-toxic supplements that reduce the risk of NMSC- green tea extract, curcumin, others.
  2. there are several evidence-based vitamins also shown to reduce the risk of SCC. Please see the studies linked and excerpted below.

Brent, I am a cancer survivor myself. I take specific steps to reduce my risks of relapse or secondary cancers but I try to balance quality with quantity of life.

I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. The reply above is a general reply to your situation. I can reply with a more specific, research-based reply if you want but I am starting with the basics.

I hope I have helped your situation. Good luck and I hope you and your wife enjoy yourselves.

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Vitamin D and melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer risk and prognosis: a comprehensive review and meta-analysis.

“Vitamin D is formed mainly in the skin upon exposure to sunlight and can as well be taken orally with food or through supplements. While sun exposure is a known risk factor for skin cancer development, vitamin D exerts anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects on melanocytes and keratinocytes in vitro…”

A Phase 3 Randomized Trial of Nicotinamide for Skin-Cancer Chemoprevention

“Nonmelanoma skin cancers, mainly basal-cell carcinomas and squamous-cell carcinomas, are the most common cancers in white populations…Squamous-cell carcinomas, especially less well-differentiated tumors on the head and neck, have metastatic potential and may originate from premalignant actinic keratoses.6

 In conclusion, among high-risk patients, nicotinamide was associated with a lower rate of new nonmelanoma skin cancers than was placebo and had an acceptable safety profile. Nicotinamide is widely accessible as an inexpensive over-the-counter vitamin supplement and presents a new opportunity for the chemoprevention of nonmelanoma skin cancers…”

Leave a Comment: