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