Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a type of nonmelanoma skin cancer. It may appear as nodules or red, scaly patches of skin.
Squamous cell carcinoma is responsible for approximately 2,500 deaths per year in the United States and represents the second most common type of skin cancer in the world.
SCCs often appear on sun-exposed parts of the body and develop from cumulative exposure to ultraviolet sunlight and tanning beds. SCCs are slow growing and, like basal cell carcinoma, they may become locally destructive if untreated and invade fat, muscle, cartilage and bone.
The risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma include:
Squamous cell carcinoma often arise from pre-existing actinic keratoses. Some common symptoms include:
Although generally more aggressive than basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma is highly treatable. In rare cases, SCC may spread to other parts of the body. In most cases, it is cured with minor surgery or other treatments.
The type of treatment a patient receives depends on the SCC’s size and whether it has spread. At UCLA Dermatology, we often treat SCC with one or more of the following procedures:
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (310) 825-6911.