Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. Sun-exposed skin including but not limited to the head, neck, ears, lips, arms, legs, and hands are the most common areas for SCC to be found.

Regular skin checks performed by a dermatologist at Dermatology Affiliates are crucial in detecting Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). Our dermatology providers have the expertise to recognize suspicious lesions, growths, or changes in the skin that may indicate SCC. Equally essential are self-exams, allowing individuals to monitor their skin for any evolving or unusual areas, such as persistent sores, rough patches, or raised nodules.

By combining professional assessments with self-examinations, early identification of potential SCC lesions becomes more achievable. Early detection significantly enhances treatment success rates and improves overall outcomes for SCC, emphasizing the importance of routine checks by dermatologists and self-exams in maintaining optimal skin health.

At Dermatology Affiliates, your skin's well-being is our top priority. Our team of skilled professionals is dedicated to supporting you and your family at every stage of your skin health journey. We're committed to providing exceptional care and guidance, ensuring a comprehensive and personalized approach to your skin wellness needs.

Symptoms of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

  • Squamous cell carcinoma usually begins as a dome-shaped bump or a red, scaly patch of skin.
  • Rough and crusty and can bleed easily when scraped. 
  • Changes in existing growths: changes in the appearance of existing skin growths, such as warts or scars.
  • Persistent sore: a sore or lump that doesn't heal, or a lesion that keeps recurring.

What Causes Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) can affect individuals across diverse backgrounds.
  • It is more prevalent in those with regular exposure to direct sunlight, especially in professions or lifestyles that involve significant sun exposure.
  • While skin cancer is less common in individuals with darker complexions, they are at an increased risk for SCC in areas of the body not typically exposed to the sun.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Prevention

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) prevention starts by wearing sunscreen daily, even in the winter and colder months, avoiding excessive sun exposure, seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and getting regular skin checks. If you notice changes in moles or skin, consult a dermatologist promptly.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma FAQs

Diagnosis involves a biopsy, where a sample of the suspicious area is removed and examined under a microscope. This helps confirm whether the lesion is cancerous and provides information about its characteristics

Treatment options for SCC depend on factors such as the size, location, and stage of the cancer. Common treatments include surgical excision, electrodessication and curettage, cryotherapy, Mohs surgery for more complex cases, radiation therapy, and topical medications.

The frequency of screenings depends on individual risk factors. High-risk individuals, such as those with a history of SCC or other skin cancers, may need more frequent screenings. Consult with your dermatologist to determine the appropriate screening schedule for your situation.

While SCC is usually slower-growing than melanoma, it has the potential to be locally aggressive and may spread to other parts of the body, especially if left untreated. Early detection and treatment are important for preventing complications.

A total body skin exam by a dermatologist is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it serves as a proactive measure for the early detection of skin cancers, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Skin cancers are often highly treatable when identified at an early stage. A comprehensive examination allows the dermatologist to assess moles, birthmarks, and any unusual skin changes that may indicate potential issues.

Secondly, a dermatologist can identify and diagnose various skin conditions, including dermatitis, psoriasis, and infections. Early detection and treatment of these conditions can prevent them from escalating into more serious health issues.

Furthermore, a total body skin exam provides an opportunity to discuss and address any concerns or questions about skin health, sun protection, and skincare routines. Dermatologists can offer valuable guidance on skin cancer prevention, emphasizing the importance of sun protection measures, such as wearing sunscreen and protective clothing.

Regular skin exams become especially vital for individuals with risk factors, such as a family history of skin cancer, a personal history of sun exposure, or fair skin. Overall, a total body skin exam is a proactive and comprehensive approach to maintaining skin health, preventing skin cancers, and addressing any skin-related issues in a timely manner.

You should apply sunscreen every day. Even on cloudy days and during the winter, UV rays can  penetrate the clouds and cause skin damage. 

Sunscreen needs time to be absorbed into the skin. Apply it at least 15-30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours.

From Our QualDerm Family of Brands: Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers

Treatment Options for Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Depending on the type, location and size of the tumor/skin cancer, options for treatment may include, but are not limited to:
  • Mohs micrographic surgery
  • Excisional surgery
  • Cryotherapy (freezing)
  • Currettage and Electrodessication
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
To properly diagnose and treat skin cancer, it is essential to schedule with your dermatologist. Our certified experts can provide you with the best treatments options for your skin cancer. If you haven’t scheduled a skin check, we highly encourage you to schedule one today.