What is Squamous Cell Skin Cancer?

Squamous cell skin cancer, also known as squamous cell carcinoma, develops in the keratinocytes that create the middle and outer layers of the skin. While this form of skin cancer is not usually life-threatening, it can be aggressive, and if left untreated, can rarely spread to other parts of the body. 

Squamous cell carcinoma most often occurs in areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun, such as the lips, ears, backs of the hands, and scalp, however, it can occur anywhere on the body. Common signs and symptoms of this form of skin cancer include:

  • A red, firm nodule.
  • A flat sore with a scaly crust.
  • A scaly, rough patch on the lip that may turn into an open sore.
  • A raised, red patch or wart-like sore on the genitals that may bleed.

If you are concerned regarding a possible a scab or sore that will not heal within 2-3 months, be sure to contact your family doctor or nurse practitioner for assessment and consideration of referral to DermAtelier on Avenue as soon as possible.

Squamous Cell Skin Cancer Treatment Options

There are different squamous cell skin cancer treatment options, depending on the size of the skin cancer. These options include:

Treatment for Small Squamous Cell Carcinomas

Cryosurgery: Cancer cells will be frozen away with liquid nitrogen. This therapy is reserved for thin squamous cell cancer known as “Bowen disease” type. 

Curettage and Electrodesiccation: Dr. Beach will remove the surface of the skin cancer using a scraping instrument called a curette. An electric needle will then be used to sear and destroy the base of the cancer.  This procedure may be performed on skin cancer at the arms or legs or torso depending on its size and characteristics. 

Treatment for Larger Squamous Cell Carcinomas

Simple Excision: Dr. Beach will excise the cancerous tissue and a surrounding area of healthy skin. 

Mohs Surgery:  When appropriate, you will be assessed by Dr. Beach and deemed a candidate for this procedure.  Mohs Surgery is performed in the hospital by dermatologist colleagues. During this procedure, they will remove the cancer by removing thin layers of skin and examine each layer under a microscope until all abnormal cells are removed.

Who is a Good Candidate for Squamous Cell Skin Cancer Treatment?

Those who have been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma can benefit from squamous cell skin cancer treatment. If you are concerned about an atypical lesion on your body, contact our office today to determine how to schedule a skin exam

What to Expect After Squamous Cell Skin Cancer Treatment?

If there are no more cancer cells identified following squamous cell skin cancer treatment, then no further action is required. Be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect your skin from the sun, including avoiding spending time outside in peak sun hours (10 a.m.-4 p.m.), wear sunscreen with SPF 30+ year-round, wear protective clothing that includes sleeves, hats with a brim, clothing with UPF 50+ rating, when spending time outdoors, and avoid tanning beds.

Contact Us Today

To learn more about your squamous cell skin cancer treatment options, contact DermAtelier on Avenue today. We will be happy to help you schedule your consultation appointment with Dr. Beach.



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