What Factors Affect a Prognosis for Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 23 July 2019
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The prognosis for a patient with squamous cell carcinoma can be affected by factors including the characteristics of the cancer and the patient's general level of health at the time of diagnosis. Generally, the earlier the cancer is identified and treated, the better the chances of a good outcome. Small lesions caught rapidly can have an excellent prognosis, while larger lesions in more dangerous areas of the body that have been allowed to grow over time come with a less favorable prognosis. Regular evaluation for any unusual skin lesions is recommended to catch squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and other malignant skin conditions.

Important variables in the prognosis for squamous cell carcinoma include the size, location, and specific characteristics of the cancer. The smaller and shallower the growth, the better. Growths on the ears, lips, tongue, and lungs tend to metastasize quickly and are of more concern than lesions in other locations. The composition of the cells when reviewed by a pathologist is another factor, as is the involvement of regional lymph nodes.


Other issues in the prognosis for squamous cell carcinoma include the patient's overall health. People with no other conditions and a healthy immune system are more likely to recover than people with cormorbidities. Immunosuppression is of particular concern for patients with this type of cancer. If the cancer is recurring, this can also be reflected in the prognosis for squamous cell carcinoma, with the chances of survival decreasing because the growth is clearly aggressive.

Age and gender can also be factors. Younger patients tend to have a better prognosis, and women have more chances at survival than men. All of these factors must be weighed when developing a prognosis for squamous cell carcinoma to give a patient a complete picture of what to expect from cancer treatment. Doctors also consider how quickly and aggressively the cancer is treated. Removal of a growth followed by chemotherapy and radiation, if appropriate, will probably be more successful than surgical treatment alone, for example.

Patients seeking treatment for squamous cell carcinoma may want to consult several physicians to get as much information as possible. They can be provided with information about the prognosis with different courses of treatment in different facilities. The prognosis for squamous cell carcinoma in some clinics and hospitals is very good because their treatment protocols are very highly refined and extremely aggressive to provide the best possible outcomes for patients.



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