>The internet is an amazing thing. There is information at our fingertips. Want a phone number? Google it. Want to know where someone lives? Google it. Want to know the lyrics to a song? Google it. Trivial information for the taking. Here’s something that I learned today. Do NOT Google “Squamous Cell Carcinoma.” One thing about a Google search: They have pictures!!! Picture, people!
I could tell you a lot about Breast Cancer since my best friend had it twice and I did a lot of googling to learn about what she was dealing with. I know relatively nothing about Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Well, at least I didn’t until this afternoon. Now I know that this is a very common form of Skin Cancer. The ugly thing about it is that it is not confined to your skin. It can invade your innerds. It’s very common to have Squamous Cell Carcinoma in your mouth, throat and lung area. The high risk groups for this are obviously over exposure to sun, but the next two highest risk groups are smokers and drinkers. Well, my dear friend is a drinker. Holy hell, can that man ever put away some alcohol. Obviously, there is the whole genetic factor also. Some families are just more predisposed to cancerous type things. My friend’s is one of those. His family has a lot of health issues so he doesn’t come from very sturdy stock. I hope he’ll be OK. I keep telling myself that this is a highly treatable form of cancer. I think they caught it fairly early. So I’m going to remain positive that everything will be alright. There are still a lot of things that the doctor’s are unsure of in his case.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the cancer as it relates to my friend’s issue:
“Ninety percent of cases of head and neck cancer (cancer of the mouth, nasal cavity, nasopharynx, throat and associated structures) are due to squamous cell carcinoma. Symptoms may include a poorly healing mouth ulcer, a hoarse voice or other persistent problems in the area. Treatment is usually with surgery (which may be extensive) and radiotherapy. Risk factors include smoking and alcohol consumption
Cancers of the head and neck are usually caused by tobacco and alcohol, but according to the CDC, recent studies show that about 25% of mouth and 35% of throat cancers are caused by HPV. The 5 year disease free survival rate for HPV positive cancer is significantly higher when appropriately treated with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy as compared to non-HPV positive cancer, substantiated by multiple studies including research conducted by Dr. Maureen Gillison et al. of Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.”
Notice that I did not include any photos! You’re welcome!
Tomorrow I’ll tell you about my good friend. How he and his wife came into our lives. The great times that we’ve had together. I can’t do that today. My emotions are still a little raw from the news, so the details will have to wait.