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How do medications treat stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

If medications are used to treat stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma, it's usually in addition to other treatments. Usually, doctors will first try to remove the cancer through surgery or radiation therapy. As a second line of defense, doctors may suggest topical or systemic chemotherapy. In topical chemotherapy, strong drugs may be applied to the skin to kill cancerous cells. This method is usually used for very shallow tumors, so it's not often used in stage 4. Systemic chemotherapy uses medications taken orally or intravenously to destroy the cancer cells. This treatment may be beneficial if the cancer has spread to the bones or lymph nodes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.