Squamous Cell Carcinoma: what is it?

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. It forms when squamous cells begin to grow uncontrollably in the top layers of the skin, called the epidermis. In most cases, it is caused by repeated exposure to UV rays over time.

Symptoms of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma usually first appears as a red, scaly plaque of skin or as a hard domed bump. Both varieties typically feel rough and crusty and can bleed when scraped.

Cancer usually shows up on areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun, such as the face, ears, lips, arms, legs, and tops of hands, but it can also more rarely appear on areas not exposed to the sun including the lower lip and genitals.

This cancer usually develops slowly but can spread to the lymph nodes and other organs if left untreated. If caught early though, it is highly treatable.

A doctor will diagnose squamous cell carcinoma with a biopsy. Treatment of cancer will then vary depending on location, size, severity, how far it has spread and the health of the patient.

Treatments for SCC include:


he tumor and a margin of skin around it will be cut out.

Mohs surgery

This is a specialized surgery that removes the tumor and examines it under a microscope, looking for cancer cells. If cancer cells are found, the surgeon will continue to remove thin layers of skin until no cancer cells are detected.

Curettage and electrodesiccation

The tumor is first scraped away and then an electrosurgical needle is used to kill the remaining cancer cells. These two steps are often repeated.


This is used when other treatments are not available or when excision is not a good choice for the patient. This will often require many treatments.

Lymph node surgery

Part of the lymph node is removed under general anesthesia.


The afflicted area is essentially “sanded down” to remove the cancer cells.

Targeted drug treatment or chemotherapy

is also employed in advanced stages of cancer.

Squamous cell carcinoma is more common in people who have spent a lot of time in the sun, have pale skin types, have a history of actinic keratosis, have an ulcer or sore that won’t go away, have had some form of the human papillomavirus or have been badly burned in the past.

Learn the warning signs of skin cancer and be sure to see a doctor at the first sign of anything suspicious.

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How to prevent squamous cell carcinoma

How to prevent squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) | 5 steps

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is one of the most common forms of skin cancer, affecting more than one million people in the US alone each year. While it is usually easily treatable, it can become deadly if it spreads beyond the skin and into the lymph nodes or internal organs of the body. That’s why prevention is so important.

How to prevent squamous cell carcinoma? Read it below.

Where squamous cell carcinoma originates

Where squamous cell carcinoma originates

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer after basal cell carcinoma. Where squamous cell carcinoma originates? It is considered locally invasive, and, although uncommon, can spread beyond the skin into other organs of the body if left untreated. The cancer develops from squamous cells which are thin, flat cells found on the surface of the skin, in the lining of hollow organs and in the respiratory and digestive tracts. 

Where is squamous cell carcinoma found?

Where is squamous cell carcinoma found?

As you might already know, squamous cell carcinoma is one of the most common types of skin cancer. While squamous cell carcinoma can be treated very well when found early, this type of skin cancer also has the potential to spread to the lymph nodes. In that case, it becomes very dangerous. At first squamous cell carcinoma will often appear as a scaly lump, a red scaly sunspot, or a crusted sore. But where is it commonly found?

Squamous cell carcinoma symptoms

Squamous cell carcinoma symptoms (SCC)

Most of us are aware of the usual signs of skin cancers – moles that look strange or start to change in shape or become itchy or crusty. But squamous cell carcinoma is a different type of skin cancer that looks unusual compared to those we might be on the lookout for. Squamous cell carcinoma symptoms may be harder to spot, but it is still possible to see clearly the signs and to catch it before it becomes harder to treat.