SCC is the second most kind of skin cancer. It originates from the squamous cells of the skin which are present towards the top of the epidermis (outermost layer of the skin).

Squamous cell cancer of the develops on the neck, head, forearms, hands (sun exposed parts) and are usually because of long-term ultraviolet light exposure.

Squamous cell cancer scan developed into a potentially life-threatening cancer if it is allowed to grow and checked. It can spread to the lymph glands and to other parts of the body, eventually leading to death.

What causes Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

The most important cause of SCC is chronic exposure to sunlight (ultraviolet radiation). Approximately 80% of these skin cancers occur on sun exposed areas of the skin. The remaining may occur in areas which are not usually exposed to sunlight.

Solariums / skin tanning beds increases risk of SCC development by 2.5 times

Other rarer causes may include chronic skin infections or chronic skin inflammation or irritation.

What does Squamous Cell Carcinoma look like?

Squamous cell carcinomas usually appear as a:

  • pinkish or red scaly patch
  • raised white crusty lump, which may be painful when pressed

Am I at risk of developing Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Any person who has got history of long-term exposure to sunlight is at the risk of developing squamous cell cancer. These cancers usually arise because of cumulative sun exposure over a long period of time. Therefore, people who are working outdoors (Farmer’s, laborer’s, Airline pilots, driver’s etc.) are tender significantly high risk in Australia and New Zealand.

People were good family history of nonmelanoma skin cancers like squamous cell cancer and cell cancer and had a high risk of developing these cancers. This may indicate some genetic linkage for the development of squamous cell cancer. People who have got light-colored here, fair complexion and burn easily are particularly at a high risk of getting squamous cell cancers of the skin.

Another high-risk group for development of squamous cell cancer will include people who have got poor immune system (kidney/organ transplant, chemotherapy, radiotherapy patient’s, bone marrow transplant patients, patient on immunosuppressive medications).

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treatment

Most SCC can be cured if detected and treated at an early stage.

If a growth is suspicious for SCC, a diagnostic biopsy can be performed. This is where a sample is taken to a specialist laboratory to be examined under a microscope with special stains. The pathologist can confirm the diagnosis of SCC and will be able to assess the extent of spread of the cancer.

Most SCC will need to be treated with Surgical Excision. However, depending on the depth of the SCC, some may be treated conservatively. Early SCC which does not invade into the deeper layers of the skin can be treated with topical agents (creams), electrodessication and serial curettage (burn and scoop).

What happens if a Squamous Cell Carcinoma is not treated?

If left untreated, SCC will continue to grow into the deeper parts of the skin and underlying tissues. If left untreated they can grow into blood vessels and lymphatics and therefore spread to other organs.

Advanced Squamous Cell Carcinoma occurring on the lip and ears ,nose usually require large plastic and reconstructive surgery and may lead to loss of body parts. In some areas squamous cell carcinoma have a higher risk of spreading internally to other parts of the body (metastasize).

Squamous cell cancer as a major cause of death from nonmelanoma skin cancers in Australasia.

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