Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. It can occur anywhere on the body but most commonly occurs in areas frequently exposed to the sun such as the lower lip, scalp, back of hands, arms, legs and ears. Squamous cell carcinoma often appears as scaly red patches, open sores, or thick warty plaques or bumps on the surface of the skin. Squamous cell carcinoma is caused by cumulative UV exposure over the course of a lifetime.  It rarely causes further problems when identified and treated early, although 5% of cases do spread and can require chemotherapy, radiation or result in death. High risk areas for SCC to spread are lips and ears.  Surgical excision is the best treatment for squamous cell carcinoma, and is usually curative.