Bringing Health Care Closer to Our Muslim Brothers And Sisters

When you are actually on the road, it sometimes feels strange that you do not have a place to work. Some doctors might struggle with the feeling that medical care is something you can offer only when you go to your office or in hospitals and clinics. But this is not true—a doctor can see a patient anywhere, which was exactly what happened in HOW’s recent visit to Mindanao.

My Team and I just had a successful trip to Zamboanga. One of the beneficiaries of our surgical trip was an adult Muslim woman from Basilan who had a long-standing ulcerated skin lesion on the left eyelid, which has spread to the cheek. A biopsy three months ago showed an aggressive type of Squamous Cell Carcinoma. 

What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinoma is a form of cancer that affects the skin. It can occur in any area of the body where there is skin, but it most often occurs on the head or neck. Squamous cell carcinoma can also affect the mucous membranes, such as those in your mouth and throat.

What Are The Symptoms of Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

The most common symptom of squamous cell carcinoma is a red, scaly patch that doesn’t heal and continues to spread. 

Other symptoms include bleeding, pain, or itching at the site of the cancerous growths, swollen lymph nodes, or changes in the color or texture of your skin. 

What Actually Causes Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It can occur anywhere on the body, but it’s most often found on the face. It starts in the flat cells that make up your skin’s surface layer. These cells are called squamous cells because they’re shaped like thin scales. Squamous cell carcinomas can grow into tumors and spread to other parts of your body.

It is also usually caused by exposure to the sun. It’s also more common in people who have had many sunburns over time or who have used tanning beds or drugs that suppress their immune systems (like steroids).

People who are older than 50 years old are more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma than younger people. Ultraviolet light exposure may also increase your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma if you have had many sunburns in your lifetime or if you have sensitive skin that burns easily when exposed to sunlight. It’s important to remember that overexposure to ultraviolet light does not directly cause squamous cell carcinoma — rather, it may trigger changes in the DNA inside your cells that make them more likely to become cancerous over time.

What Are The Treatment Options For Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinomas can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy. If you have squamous cell carcinoma on your face, it may be treated with Mohs surgery.

Mohs surgery is a specialized surgical technique used to treat certain types of skin cancers. In this procedure, layers of tissue are removed until all traces of cancerous cells are gone. This process is repeated until all cancerous cells have been removed.

More and more Filipinos Need Access To These Procedures

While we have learned about squamous cell carcinoma, you have also seen the significance of having access to medical care, especially in the far-flung areas of Mindanao, where many of our brothers and sisters are still deprived of their much-needed health care.

We hope that in the future, our service will improve and reach out to many more patients who are in need of these essential healthcare services. People from all walks of life, regardless of status and position, should have access to the best medical care in the most convenient ways possible. That is one of the goals we strive for at HOW.


The Hospital On Wheels brings the hospital and its services closer to the community, allowing us to provide medical services to rural areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. It is a sustainable model that has helped us assist thousands of patients in the past 15 years.

We need your help to make it sustainable. We believe this idea can change the lives and health of millions of people who currently lack access to adequate medical care. 

We hope that you’ll join us in making this vision a reality!

Please follow us on Facebook & subscribe to YouTube channel:

Leave a Comment