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Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Effectively diagnose and treat squamous cell carcinoma at the Center for Surgical Dermatology.

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Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Effectively diagnose and treat squamous cell carcinoma at the Center for Surgical Dermatology.


What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

With an estimated 1.8 million cases diagnosed each year, squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer found in the United States. 

This type of skin cancer develops in squamous cells, which are small, flat cells located in the top layer of skin, also known as the epidermis. Squamous cell carcinoma occurs when the squamous cells accumulate mutations. These mutations cause the cells to rapidly reproduce in an unregulated manner, leading to the development of a cancerous growth.

Additionally, squamous cell carcinoma may develop from a precancerous skin growth called an actinic keratosis. To learn more about this common skin condition, click here.


Squamous Cell Carcinoma FAQs

It can be difficult to receive a squamous cell carcinoma diagnosis. If you have questions about this common skin cancer, browse our FAQs section below. Our dermatologists explain what causes SCC, how to reduce your risk, typical warning signs and symptoms, and the top treatments for squamous cell carcinoma in Westerville, Ohio.

Since squamous cell carcinoma often shows up on areas of the body frequently exposed to the sun, researchers believe it is primarily caused by UV rays, either from the sun or artificial UV light (e.g. tanning beds). 

However, skin cancer can be caused by other damaging agents that trigger abnormal changes in skin cells.

Fortunately, squamous cell carcinoma can be easily and successfully treated when detected early. However, if left untreated and allowed to grow, squamous cell carcinomas can become invasive, spreading to nearby tissue and other parts of the body, which can be life-threatening.

In general, squamous cell carcinoma is a slow growing skin cancer and generally does not spread beyond the skin. This is why it is relatively easy to treat and has a high five-year survival rate at ninety-nine percent. However, there are some variants of squamous cell carcinoma that can develop and grow rapidly (over a period of weeks or months), which underscores the importance of having a trained provider evaluate any new or changing lesions of concern on your skin.

Squamous cell carcinoma can take several forms:

  • Crusted or scaly area on the skin with a red, inflamed base.
  • Persistent, non-healing, ulcerated (skin not covering) bump or thickened skin
  • Wart-like growth or plaque.
  • Sore that does not heal.
  • Red, scaly patches or bumps.

When examining your skin for warning signs of skin cancer, it’s important to focus on areas of your body that are frequently exposed to the sun. However, this skin cancer can develop anywhere. There are some variants of squamous cell carcinoma that are associated with the human papilloma virus (HPV), and these tend to occur on the fingers or in the genital area.  

If you’ve noticed any of the squamous cell carcinoma warning signs on your skin, we urge you to schedule a skin cancer screening in Westerville, Ohio. Our providers are highly experienced in examining the skin and identifying potential cancerous lesions. Give us a call today at (614) 847-4100 or request an appointment online.

Yes, there are steps you can take to significantly reduce your risk of developing not only squamous cell carcinoma but also basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and other, more uncommon forms of skin cancer. 

Here are steps you can take to reduce your risk of skin cancer:

  • Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30+ on a daily basis.
  • Wear sun protective clothing, UV-blocking sunglasses, and wide-brimmed hats.
  • Avoid the sun during peak hours (10 am to 2 pm) and seek shade whenever possible.
  • Visit your doctor for skin cancer screenings on an annual basis.
  • Perform monthly self-exams of your skin at home.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet with lots of antioxidants.

Skin cancer screenings are one of the most important preventive steps you can take to keep your skin in tip-top shape. If you haven’t received your skin cancer screening yet this year, or have never had one before, schedule one today with one of our knowledgeable providers in Westerville, Ohio. 

When detected early, the five-year survival rate is 99 percent. Furthermore, with improvements in skin cancer treatment, the survival rate has continued to rise year after year. 

At the Center for Surgical Dermatology, our board-certified dermatologists use a few different squamous cell carcinoma treatment methods. This includes: 

  • Surgical Excision – The cancer is excised (cut out) with a surgical scalpel.
  • Cryotherapy – Freezing cancer off, typically with liquid nitrogen or another freezing solution.
  • Curettage and Electrodesiccation – Cancer is scraped off with a sharp instrument called a curette before using electrocoagulation to burn away residual cancer cells.
  • Mohs Surgery – Procedure that uses extreme precision to remove the cancer layer by layer. The removed tissue is then checked microscopically to ensure all cancer roots and cells are completely eliminated.

Your doctor will decide which is the most appropriate treatment for you and your particular situation. If you have recently been diagnosed and are searching for the ideal skin cancer treatment in Westerville, Ohio, we urge you to contact the Center for Surgical Dermatology. Our team is highly trained and experienced in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating several different types of skin cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma. 


Squamous Cell Carcinoma Photos

Squamous cell carcinoma can take on many different forms. To get a better idea of how it may show up, browse the photos below. If you notice anything similar on your skin, we urge you to make an appointment with an experienced board-certified dermatologist as soon as possible. 

Scaly/CrustedSquamous Cell Carcinoma Below A Patient's Eye

A persistent, scaly red patch with irregular borders

Wart-LikeBasal Cell Carcinoma Mole Under A Patient's Nose

A wart-like growth that crusts and occasionally bleeds

Squamous Cell CarcinomaSquamous Cell Carcinoma On A Patient's Lip

An elevated growth with a central depression that occasionally bleeds. A growth of this type may rapidly increase in size.


Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treatment near Westerville, Ohio

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, or have a suspicious spot on your skin that is showing signs of this common cancer, we urge you to consult with the highly experienced providers at the Center for Surgical Dermatology. 

We are highly trained in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating all forms of skin cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Through comprehensive skin cancer treatment in Westerville, Ohio, we can help restore the health of your skin and get you back to living a more comfortable life. 

Schedule your skin cancer treatment in Westerville, Ohio, by requesting an appointment online or by calling our clinic at (614) 847-4100.

Contact Us Today

Have questions or concerns? Please give us a call at 614.847.4100.

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