• Tuesday May 26,2020

Spinaliom (squamous cell carcinoma)

The number of new cases of skin cancer is increasing massively from year to year. In addition to the extremely dangerous black skin cancer (malignant melanoma) can be found a whole series of "more harmless" skin cancers, which is often referred to as "white skin cancer", because he is not quite as aggressive as the melanoma. One form of these cancers is squamous cell carcinoma, often referred to as spinalioma. Spinal egg is the second most common form of skin cancer.

What is a spinal egg?

Malignant melanoma or black skin cancer is a highly malignant tumor of the pigment cells (melanocytes).

A spinalioma is a malignant skin tumor that can appear on the skin and mucosa, typically growing like a wart. In contrast to black skin cancer (melanoma), he has a relatively good prognosis.

Although spinal infarction is extremely rarely metastasized early on, it can destroy bone and muscle tissue. Rarely, squamous cell carcinoma manifests as lung or bronchial carcinoma, very common (90%) but as esophageal or cervical cancer.

Frequently, the spinalioma is presented to the doctor rather late, since it does not have a threatening effect on the visual appearance of a wart, especially since it causes no pain. In addition, patients are often more likely to focus on black skin cancer and more likely to observe their dark moles.


The cause of the spinal anomaly is clearly, as with all skin cancers, the excessive exposure to sunlight. For this reason, skin cancer arises primarily on the so-called "sun terraces", so skin areas that are often exposed to the sun, such as nose, forehead, ears or back of the hand.

A significant increase in skin cancer can generally be detected by visiting the tanning beds. Recent studies indicate that human papillomaviruses (HPV) may also be responsible for the pathogenesis.

Since squamous cell carcinomas also occur on the mucous membranes and can manifest themselves in the form of cervical cancer, a vaccination that has been recommended for some years may make sense.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

A spinal or squamous cell carcinoma is characterized by lesions that do not always lead to the correct diagnosis. These are red scaly skin that looks similar to many skin conditions. Even a distinction between cancer precursor (keratosis) and actual carcinoma is only possible through a tissue examination.

In the precancerous state of the spinal (keratosis), reddened spots with a firm adherent scaling are found on the skin. The skin changes do not heal. Over time, there can be tactile knots there. The nodes have a deposit of crusts and scales, which break open occasionally ulcerated. This may already be a skin cancer.

But possibly there is only an advanced stage of keratosis. The distinction is not possible by visual inspection alone. Actinic keratosis does not have to turn into squamous cell carcinoma. She can also heal again. After the emergence of the actual Spinalioms the skin remains scaly keratinized.

She feels rough. At the affected area there is an always existing reddish to brownish skin discoloration. Later it comes to constant bleeding, whereby the wound becomes encrusted and scarred. The bleeding occurs again and again when the patient tries to scrape off the scab. It also creates a rough, painless knot. The cancer grows very slowly and rarely forms metastases.

Diagnosis & History

Schematic representation of the anatomy and structure of the skin with black skin cancer. Click to enlarge.

The spinaliom is therefore regarded as a not so dangerous tumor, because he detected early detected at a size of up to 2cm extremely rare metastases. In time, therefore, there is a very good prognosis for complete healing in the case of this skin cancer disease.

Nevertheless, spinalioma patients should undergo cancer follow-up every three to six months for a period of five years and have their lungs thoroughly examined for recurrent skin cancer. In some federal states this form of the follow-up examination belongs to the achievement of the health insurance companies.


Without treatment, the malignant tumor spreads and increasingly destroys the surrounding tissue. Depending on the localization, this may be associated with possible malfunctions. A multiple involvement of the organs always leads to a low probability of survival of the patient. Only with the help of a timely operation can this be prevented.

Damage caused by cuts in the nerve tracts in the facial area may lead to discomfort or paralysis as a complication. These can be permanent or short-term in nature. The deeper the tumor has already penetrated into tissue structures, the higher the risk of additional damage from the procedure.

Also possible is excessive scarring in some cases. It usually represents an aesthetic problem for patients. Larger sections may require a targeted reconstruction of the skin. In transplants of skin allergic defense reactions are not excluded. In general: Unwanted consequences after an operation usually remain if the tumor was detected early.

A complete and uncomplicated cut allows a full recovery without cosmetic disadvantages. In later stages, this does not always succeed satisfactorily. Thus, the occurrence of secondary tumors in the range of the possible.

Proper removal of the tumor for a favorable prognosis involves abundant, still healthy tissue. In addition, the laxative lymph channels are included. If this surgical margin is lacking, even a spinalioma that has already been removed can break out again at the identical or another location after some time.

When should you go to the doctor?

In case of a spinal disorder, a medical treatment must always be carried out. Only through a correct and especially through an early medical treatment of this disease further complications or complaints can be prevented. Since the spinalioma is a cancer, regular examinations should be carried out after a successful treatment to prevent the spread of tumors in the body.

A doctor should be consulted if the person suffering from various changes on the skin. This can lead to redness or black spots on the skin. If these occur or if the skin symptoms change in their shape, size or color, a doctor should be consulted in any case. Also, permanent scaling or lumps on the skin may indicate spinal anomalies and should also be examined by a physician. In some cases, the affected areas may even bleed.

In a spinal disorder, either a dermatologist or a general practitioner can be consulted. In most cases, the symptoms can be relieved relatively well.

Treatment & Therapy

As a rule, spinal nerves are surgically removed and the tissue removed is subsequently examined histologically to ensure the diagnosis in the laboratory. This surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis, but such procedures can also be performed in special cases in hospital, for example in very elderly people or patients with additional, high-risk illnesses.

Mostly pay the health insurance but only an outpatient treatment. The suspect skin area is cut out over the largest possible area in order to prevent having to re-cut. However, it often happens that the histological findings show that the spinalioma has not been completely removed, then a subsequent excision should always be performed.


Since the influence of sun rays is the main cause of the disease, the prevention of excessive solar radiation must be mentioned as a precautionary measure. Solarium visits are often played down but are proven to cause skin cancers. The more people expose themselves to the sun or the sun, the greater their risk of developing skin cancer.

Since the papillomavirus is suspected of causing squamous cell carcinoma, a vaccination, especially in young women because of the risk of developing cervical cancer, may be useful. Here, parents should be active because in young women vaccination should be done before the first sexual intercourse. An agreement with a doctor, whether the vaccination in individual cases makes sense, should always be done in advance.

Conspicuous moles, especially those that have changed rapidly, should always be shown to a specialist physician. Recognized early, all skin cancers have a favorable prognosis. The surgery to remove the suspicious time is usually relatively straightforward, which is why risk patients should not be afraid to see a dermatologist.


Aftercare is very important in spinal surgery. There is a risk that squamous cell carcinoma will recur at a later date. For this reason, dermatologists are advised to undergo a skin check-up every three to six months after successful treatment.

These should be exercised over a five-year period. Thus, recurrences and metastases (secondary tumors) usually show up within two years after the first therapy. As part of the aftercare, the tumor recurrence and secondary malignancies can be detected early and treated accordingly. The examinations of the patients take place regularly and depend on the type of the respective tumor. An important role is played by the tumor parameters as well as the disease stage.

Important follow-up examinations after a spinal ultrasound are imaging techniques such as sonography (ultrasound examination), computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition, X-rays can be made. The doctor also explains the patient about the risk factors for the development of squamous cell carcinoma and how to avoid it.

If it is a high-risk patient diagnosed with the disease at an advanced stage, the follow-up visit will take place in a specialized skin cancer center. All other patients can follow up with their family doctor. As part of the aftercare, patients should use a sunscreen daily for their skin that contains a high SPF.

You can do that yourself

If necessary, a spinal egg can occur again at a later date. Therefore, following successful treatment, continuous follow-up examinations are necessary. It is recommended to have regular, half-yearly examinations of the entire skin area over a period of at least five years. An important goal of the skin specialist examination is the early diagnosis of a second spinal instability, for which the patients have a significantly increased risk.

The protection of the skin is again significantly more important for the treated patients with spinal anomalies. Thus, the excessive sunlight on the skin should be avoided. The best protection from the sun is the appropriate clothing. Therefore, sunscreen on the skin with high sun protection factor should be applied regularly by the patient. This is especially true for people with a light skin type and a weakened immune system. A sunburn is to be avoided in any case.

The skin must be protected from chemical influences. A skin dryness is to be avoided. Soil-free products should be used for skin cleansing. The selection of the appropriate skin care cream is to be agreed with the attending physician. Dietary supplements such as selenium, vitamin A and beta-carotene should be added to the diet of the treated patient with spinalioma. These substances are proven to protect against a new spinalioma.

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