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Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treatment

Squamous Cell Carcinoma is a skin cancer that develops from sun damaged skin. It is generally a slow growing cancer that does not produce physical symptoms. However this is not always the case. It is important to contact us if there are any changes in your skin. If you do have squamous cell carcinoma it can be treated.

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What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is a type of skin cancer that affects the squamous cells in the epidermis, or outermost layer of the skin. It is typically caused by long-term sun exposure and can appear as scaly patches on the skin. It is considered to be more aggressive than other types of skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma since it tends to spread faster and further into surrounding tissue.


SCC is usually diagnosed with a physical exam and biopsy of the suspicious area, which involves taking a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope. Treatment options depend on the size and depth of the tumor, but may include surgery, radiation therapy, cryosurgery (freezing), and chemotherapy.


Preventing SCC can be done by avoiding excessive sun exposure, wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day, and avoiding tanning beds. It is also important to check your skin regularly for any new spots or changes in existing moles or lesions. By taking these steps, you can reduce your risk of developing SCC and other forms of skin cancer. If you are at a high risk for SCC due to family history or other factors, you should contact us about preventive treatments such as regular exams and treatments such as topical creams. Taking these steps can help you stay healthy and protect yourself against this aggressive form of skin cancer.

How is it treated?

SCC is often treatable when detected early, but it can be dangerous if left untreated and may spread to other parts of the body. Treatment for SCC usually involves one or a combination of the following options:

  1. Surgical excision: The most common treatment for SCC is surgery. The surgeon will remove the cancerous cells and a small amount of the surrounding healthy tissue to ensure that all of the cancer cells have been removed.

  2. Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. It is often used in combination with surgery or alone for SCC that is inoperable or has spread to other areas of the body.

  3. Topical chemotherapy: This treatment involves applying a cream or lotion to the affected area that contains drugs that kill cancer cells. Topical chemotherapy is typically used for small SCC lesions that have not spread to other parts of the body.

  4. Mohs surgery: Mohs surgery is a specialized surgical technique that is used for SCC in areas of the body where it is difficult to remove the cancerous cells with a traditional surgical excision. During Mohs surgery, the surgeon removes layers of tissue until all of the cancerous cells have been removed.

  5. Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy uses drugs that help the body's immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. It is used to treat SCC that has spread to other parts of the body.


The best treatment option for SCC depends on the stage and location of the cancer, as well as the patient's overall health and medical history. It is important to call us if you suspect something is not right so we can diagnose and treat accordingly.


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