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An image of squamous cell carcinoma after it has been removed

Carcinomas are a form of cancer that originates from epithelial tissue in the skin or organs. There are a plethora of different types of carcinomas that a person may possibly have or get at some point in their lifetime. The symptoms range from fever to weight loss but some are even more severe than this. The treatments of carcinomas also varies depending on the type. Not only do the types of treatment vary but also the amount; some treatments may take multiple surgeries while others may only require one surgery to be carcinoma free.


An image of basal cell carcinoma

Carcinomas a type of cancer that most often start in the cells that form the skin, but also arise from the epithelial tissue that lines the organs, such as the liver liver and kidneys. Carcinomas are similar to other cancers in the way that they are abnormal cells that continuously divide without ceasing. Carcinomas have the capability of spreading to other parts of the body as well. [1]

Examples of the most common types of carcinomas include: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma, ductal carcinoma in situ, and invasive ductal carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common of these examples. Basal cell carcinomas often look like open sores, red patches, pink growth, and shiny bumps or scars. Squamous cell carcinoma often shows up on the ears, face, lips, neck, and back of the hands. Renal cell carcinoma is actually a kind of cancer of the kidneys. It is the most common form of kidney cancer and usually forms a single tumor inside of the kidney which is infected. Ductal carcinoma in situ is a form of breast cancer that does not spread to other places. Ductal carcinoma in situ forms in the ducts of the breasts and is curable. Invasive ductal carcinoma is a type of carcinoma that forms in a milk duct within the breast. After forming it may spread to the fatty tissue within the breast and eventually be spread to other places via the lymphatic system and bloodstream. [2]

Symptoms and Treatments

The symptoms of carcinomas vary greatly on what carcinoma is being discussed. The most common symptoms seen from carcinomas include: fatigue, fever, night sweats, chills, loss of appetite, and weight loss. For example, adenoid cystic carcinoma is a kind of carcinoma that occurs most commonly in the minor and major salivary glands. Other places that this form of carcinoma possibly can be found may consist of the trachea, lacrimal glands, breast, and skin. [3] The symptoms of adenoid cystic carcinoma that may appear are a lump that forms on the palate, under the tongue, or in the bottom of the mouth, an abnormal area on the lining of the mouth, numbness of the palate, upper face, or jaw, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, and paralysis of a facial nerve. [4]

There are many treatments for carcinomas. Some examples would be Mohs Micrographic Surgery, Excisional Surgery, Curettage and Electrodessication, and Radiation. Squamous cell carcinoma requires such a surgery as Mohs micrographic surgery, which consists of a physician using a scalpel to remove a visible surface tumor which has formed under a thin layer of skin. This type of surgery has the highest percentage of curing someone from squamous cell carcinoma with a 94-99 percent cure rate. For an excisional surgery, a scalpel is used to remove not just the surface tumor but the entire growth. This method of surgery has a success rate of about 92 percent. Curettage and electrodessication uses a curette and electrocautery needle to remove the growth. The curette is used for scraping the growth, while the electrocautery device is used to burn the remnants of the tumor as well as help control the bleeding that would take place during this operation. The last method mentioned, radiation, uses X-ray beams to destroy the tumor. This type of treatment does not require any actual surgical methods, but the cure rate is 85-95 percent and requires many more treatments than the other methods mentioned previously. [5]



  1. Unknown. What Is Carcinoma? WebMD. Web. October 11, 2014. (Date-Accessed).
  2. Unknown. What Is Carcinoma? WebMD. Web. October 11, 2014. (Date-Accessed).
  3. Unknown. Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma The Oral Cancer Foundation. Web. 15 October 2014. (Date-Accessed)
  4. Unknown. Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma: Symptoms and Signs Cancer.Net. Web. 15 October 2014. (Date-Accessed)
  5. Unknown. Treatment Options Skin Cancer Foundation. Web. 15 October 2014. (Date-Accessed)