What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Squamous Cell Carcinoma is known as the second most common form of non-melanoma skin cancer. This common form of non-melanoma skin cancer has an estimation of over 1 million cases in the U.S. and contributes to over 15,000 deaths every year.

Causes / Who are at Risk?

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), similarly to Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), is caused by the accumulative sun exposure throughout your lifetime. The people who are at the greatest risk for SCC are those who have fair skin. Indoor tanning has also been attributed to significantly increasing the likelihood of an SCC diagnosis. Similarly to BCC, anyone that works outdoors or spends extended amounts of time in the sun has an increased risk. Additional studies have also revealed that individuals who suffer from chronic infections, immune deficiency diseases or are going through chemotherapy are more likely to be diagnosed with SCC or other skin cancers.

Warning Signs by the Skin Cancer Foundation

  1. Persistent scaly red patches with irregular borders that crusts or bleeds
  2. Wart-like growth that crusts and occasionally bleeds
  3. Open persistent, non-healing sore

Importance of Diagnosis

If you believe that you may have Squamous Cell Carcinoma, it is important to see a dermatologist right away. The sooner that SCC is found, the sooner it can be removed. Unlike Basal Cell Carcinoma, there have been cases of SCC where it had spread to the lymph nodes and had become fatal. That is why if you believe that you may have SCC it is important to see a dermatologist right away.

This article was written by Christine L. Brady

Sources:

https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/squamous-cell-carcinoma/scc-causes-and-risk-factors

https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/squamous-cell-carcinoma

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