Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) typically occurs in areas of the body that most frequently receive UV exposure: face, ears, neck, scalp, and back of the hands. SCC’s may originate from a precancerous growth known as an actinic keratosis or even in areas infected with Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV, the virus that causes warts and is responsible for cervical cancer.
SCC’s present as a rough bump on the skin that may become develop a crusty covering and bleed. It can also present as a reddish, flat, slow-growing area of skin.
It is critical that SCC’s are diagnosed early as they have higher likelihood of spreading to other areas of the body including the lymph nodes. The way to diagnose an SCC is by performing a biopsy. During the biopsy, the dermatologist will remove all or a part of the growth and send the specimen to the lab for further inspection to confirm the diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, there are a number of different treatment options. SCC’s, like BCC’s, are often treated surgically with excision or with Moh’s surgery and in certain situations topical medications can be used for a cure. For more information about Moh’s surgery, please visit: http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/mohs-surgery/mohs-overview