What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

After Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second most-common skin cancer, affecting more than 500,000 people in the United States each year.

Squamous cell carcinoma  is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arising in the squamous cells, which compose most of the skin’s upper layers (the epidermis). SCCs often look like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed.

Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is usually not life-threatening, though it can be aggressive in some cases. Untreated, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin can grow large or spread to other parts of your body, causing serious complications.

Most squamous cell carcinomas of the skin result from prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, either from sunlight or from tanning beds or lamps. Avoiding UV light helps reduce your risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin and other forms of skin cancer.

Treating Squamous Cell Carcinoma

There are several treatment options including surgery: excisional, electro, cryo and Mohs. In many cases, radiation therapy is effective. With proper treatment, the cure rate for squamous cell carcinoma is approximately 92%.

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