Carcinoma is a type of cancer that develops in the skin or the tissue of specific organs. In a person with carcinoma, their cells multiply abnormally and can spread cancerous growths to other areas of the body.
There are five main types of carcinoma:
- Renal Cell Carcinoma
- Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
- Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
- Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)
Renal Cell Carcinoma
Renal cell carcinoma is a cancer that affects the lining of the kidneys. It most commonly occurs in men ages 50 to 70. There are four stages of renal cell carcinoma:
- Stage one – the tumor is the size of a pea and is found only in the kidney.
- Stage two – the tumor is about the size of a peanut, but is still only found in the kidney.
- Stage three – the tumor is the size of a walnut and is found in the kidney and in one lymph node, or cancer is found in the blood of the kidney or in the layer of the fatty tissue around the kidney.
- Stage four – the cancer has spread past the fatty tissue and has infected the adrenal glands, nearby lymph nodes, or other organs such as the liver or the lungs.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is a cancer that affects the epidermis (the visible layer of the skin). The cancer shows up as open red and pink sores on your skin. It happens due to excessive exposure of the skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It is the least life-threatening skin cancer and it does not tend to spread to other areas of the body.
The tumors appear most commonly on your face or nose in the form of small shiny bumps. They can also appear on your legs and arms. This cancer can be prevented by proper sun protection including sunscreen and UV protective clothing.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. Similar to basal cell carcinoma, it is associated with long-time sun exposure.
Squamous cell carcinoma often appears as open sores, warts, or crusty red patches that may often bleed. These sores are usually found in locations that are regularly exposed to sun, such as the face, lips, ears, neck, hands, arms, and legs. You may be able to tell if you have been exposing your skin to long-term damage if you have wrinkles, tight spots or changes in skin color.
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
In this context, “invasive” means that the cancer has spread to other areas of the body and “ductal” means that the cancer begins in the milk ducts (the milk ducts are the portion of the female reproductive system which bring milk to a woman’s nipple). Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer.
Symptoms of invasive ductal carcinoma include swelling around or on the breast, pain in the breast or nipple, and breast skin irritation.
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)
Ductal carcinoma in situ is not life threatening because it hasn’t moved beyond the milk duct into other breast tissue. However, the risk of developing invasive ductal carcinoma is increased when diagnosed with DCIS.
There are rarely signs of DCIS and most cases are discovered through a mammogram. Therefore, it is important that you receive yearly mammogram screenings if you are 40 years or older.
Carcinoma and Social Security Benefits
There is a specific list of cancers and conditions that will qualify you for Social Security benefits. They include:
- Recurrent carcinoma (excluding a local recurrence that is controlled by treatment)
- Inflammatory carcinoma
If your diagnosed carcinoma does not meet the above standards, don’t dismiss your claim. If you feel that you cannot work your job (need constant breaks, can’t lift heavy objects, etc.) because of your disease, the SSA will consider your application.