Squamous Cell Carcinoma

What Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a common skin cancer in humans. About 700,000 new cases of this skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year.

This skin cancer tends to develop on skin that has been exposed to the sun for years. It is most frequently seen on sun-exposed areas, such as the head, neck, and back of the hands. Women frequently get SCC on their lower legs.  It is possible to get SCC on any part of the body, including the inside of the mouth, lips, and genitals.

People who use tanning beds have a much higher risk of getting SCC. They also tend to get SCC earlier in life.  With 250,000 people diagnosed annually in the United States. It is found most commonly where the skin is exposed to the sun, including the scalp, upper rim of the ear, face, lips, and shoulders. Older people with fair complexions and frequent sun exposure are most likely to be affected. If left untreated, SCC can destroy much of the tissue surrounding the tumor or spread to the lymph nodes and be fatal.

Signs & Symptoms: Squamous cell carcinoma can appear in a number of forms. If your skin shows any of these symptoms, consult your doctor as soon as possible:

  • A dry, crusted, scaly patch of skin that is red and swollen at the base
  • A sore that won’t heal and/or bleeds
  • A thickened, crusty patch of skin with a raised border with a pebbly, granular base
  • Crusted skin

Prevention: Early treatment and detection are essential to a successful recovery. We recommend that you have an annual full body skin evaluation with your dermatologist. Proper sun protection (staying out of the direct sun, wearing protective clothing and using sunscreen) may help to prevent the development of SCC.

Treatment Options: It is important to detect and treat SCC early before it spreads to other tissues. Dermatologists use a variety of different surgical treatment options depending on location of the tumor, size of the tumor, microscopic characteristics of the tumor, health of the patient, and other factors. Most treatment options are relatively minor office-based procedures that require only local anesthesia. Surgical excision to remove the entire cancer is the most commonly used treatment option.

Early diagnosis and treatment are paramount.  Call us today! 610-789- SKIN(7546) to schedule a personalized consultation.