Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Specialist
Cancer can come in many forms on the skin, one of which is squamous cell carcinoma and it should be addressed by a professional immediately. The doctors at Texas Dermatology offer treatment for squamous cell carcinoma and other skin cancers to patients in Katy, Willowbrook, and North Cypress in Texas.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Q & A

What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. It can be found on areas that are usually exposed to UV rays from the sun or tanning beds such as the head, neck, ears, lips, arms, legs, and hands. SCC grows slowly over time and, unlike other types of skin cancer, it can spread to the tissues, bones, and nearby lymph nodes, where it may become hard to treat. When caught early, it’s easy to treat.

What Causes Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

There are some things that can make you more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma such as:

  • Older age
  • Male
  • Fair-skinned
  • Blue, green, or gray eyes
  • Blonde or red hair
  • Spend time outside; exposed to the sun's UV Rays
  • Tanning beds and bulbs
  • Long-term exposure to chemicals such as arsenic in the water
  • Bowen’s disease, HPV, HIV, or AIDS
  • Exposed to radiation
  • Inherited DNA condition

What are the Symptoms?

A dome-shaped bump or a red, scaly patch of skin is the first symptom to appear. It is rough and crusty and can bleed easily if scraped. Large growths may itch or hurt. To diagnose your squamous cell carcinoma, your doctor will ask about your medical history, your history of severe sunburns or indoor tanning, any pain or symptoms you're having, and when the spot first appeared. A physical exam may be necessary to check the size, shape, color, and texture of the spot. The dermatologist will also look for other spots on your body and feel your lymph nodes to make sure they aren’t bigger or harder than normal.

What are Treatments?

Squamous cell carcinoma can usually be treated with minor surgery done in a doctor’s office as an outpatient procedure. Depending on the size and location of the SCC, your doctor may choose to use any of the following techniques to remove it:

  • Excision: cutting out the cancer spot and some healthy skin around it
  • Surgery using a small hand tool and an electronic needle to kill cancer cells
  • Mohs surgery: excision and then inspecting the excised skin using a microscope
  • Lymph node surgery: remove a piece of the lymph node; uses general anesthesia
  • Dermabrasion: "sanding" your affected area of skin with a tool to make way for a new layer
  • Cryosurgery: freezing of the spot using liquid nitrogen
  • Topical chemotherapy: a gel or cream applied to the skin
  • Targeted drug treatment
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