Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common skin cancer, affecting more than 250,000 Americans each year. It arises from the outer epidermal layer of the skin and mucous membranes and occurs most commonly on areas exposed to the sun. If untreated, SCC may penetrate and destroy underlying tissue. In extreme cases, this tumor can spread to distant organs and may become fatal.
Factors that contribute to the development of squamous cell carcinoma include:
- Chronic sun exposure
- exposure to radiation or chemicals
- chronic inflammatory conditions
Because chronic overexposure to sunlight is the leading cause of squamous cell carcinoma, sun avoidance, especially during peak sunlight hours of 10am to 3pm is an important preventive measure to help reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.
Symptoms of Squamous Cell Carcinoma
- Scaly red patches
- Elevated growth with a central depression
- Wart-like growths
- Open sores
The most common treatment options include excisional surgery, electrosurgery, radiation therapy, and Mohs Surgery.