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The Dermatologists At The Center For Surgical Dermatology Cover What You Need To Know Know About Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Back to Basics with What You Should Know About Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Are you wondering about squamous cell carcinoma or how this common skin cancer shows up on the skin? 

Given that two out of ten skin cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, it’s important to better understand this skin condition to reduce your risk and take the necessary steps to identify and treat this condition.

Use our squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) guide below to learn more where we cover SCC warning signs and symptoms, treatment, risk factors, and more. 


What You Should Know About Squamous Cell Carcinoma 

What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma? 

Squamous cell carcinoma, or more specifically, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, is a type of skin cancer that develops in the squamous cells of the skin. These are small, flat cells located in the middle and outer layers of skin. 

In most cases, squamous cell carcinoma is caused by frequent exposure to UV rays (i.e., the sun or tanning beds). This is why it most often shows up on sun-exposed areas of the body, such as the face, ears, neck, lips, and backs of the hands. 

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


What are Squamous Cell Carcinoma Symptoms and Warning Signs? 

As mentioned above, squamous cell carcinoma is typically caused by the accumulation of UV exposure over our lifetimes, which is why it usually shows up on sun-exposed areas of skin. However, it can occur anywhere on the body. 

When performing your regular self-exams of the skin, we recommend keeping an eye out for these symptoms and warning signs of squamous cell carcinoma: 

  • Small, painless, red bump
  • Raised or elevated patch of skin
  • Flat, scaly sore
  • Firm, red nodule 
  • Rough, scaly bump on the lip
  • Chronic skin sore that heals and returns 
  • Wart-like growth that crusts and may bleed


What are the Risk Factors for Squamous Cell Carcinoma? 

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, such as fair skin, spending a good amount of time in the sun, using tanning beds, frequent sunburns, and having a personal history of skin cancer or precancerous skin lesions. 

Furthermore, general health and immune system status are important risk factors to consider when learning more about squamous cell skin cancers. Individuals with suppressed immune systems are more likely to form these cancers compared to the general population.

If you have any of the risk factors mentioned above, it is imperative to take the necessary skin cancer prevention steps. We recommend reading our helpful guide on skin cancer prevention made easy for more information. 


How Do You Treat Squamous Cell Carcinoma? 

At the Center for Surgical Dermatology, there are a few different squamous cell carcinoma treatment methods we use to restore the health and wellness of our patient’s skin. This includes: 

  • Surgical Excision – The cancer is simply cut out with a surgical scalpel, and the resulting wound is either stitched up or left to heal on its own. 
  • Cryotherapy – Freezing cancer off with a specific solution, typically liquid nitrogen. 
  • 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 – Precise procedure that involves removing the cancer layer by layer, which is then checked microscopically to ensure all cancer roots and cells are eliminated. 


Squamous Cell Carcinoma Detection, Diagnosis, and Treatment at the Center for Surgical Dermatology 

At the Center for Surgical Dermatology, our exceptional board-certified dermatologists specialize in detecting, diagnosing, and treating squamous cell carcinoma, as well as basal cell carcinoma, melanoma skin cancer, and the precancer, actinic keratosis

To learn more about how we treat skin cancer and other skin conditions, reach out to our clinic in Westerville, OH! 


Center for Surgical Dermatology is the largest medical and surgical skin treatment and wellness facility in Central Ohio. Since 2007, our board-certified dermatologists, fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons, and caring professional staff have provided patients with treatment they can trust in an environment second to none. Learn more about our state-of-the-art Dermatology Center before booking your appointment today. 

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