The South Shore’s Most Progressive  & Established Dermatology Practice

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is a common form of skin cancer. It is caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun or a tanning booth without proper use of sunscreen.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is a common form of skin cancer. It is caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun or a tanning booth without proper use of sunscreen. It is most commonly seen on sun-exposed areas such as the head, neck, arms, back of hands and legs.

SCC may also develop on the lips, inside the mouth and in the genital area. Squamous cell carcinomas can spread to other parts of the body. Some Squamous cell carcinomas can begin as precancerous growths known as Actinic Keratoses. Early detection by skin biopsy and early treatment are important factors in achieving a high cure rate.

Who are most at risk?
  • Blond or red hair
  • Fair skin
  • Blue, green or hazel eyes
  • Frequent sunburns in the past
  • Exposure to tanning beds or sunlamps
  • Previous diagnosis of Actinic Keratosis
Warning Signs
  • A rough feeling growth or bump
  • Crusting or bleeding of a growth
  • A flat, red, scaly patch that grows slowly
  • A sore that does not heal
  • A sore that reappears in the same place
Treatments (depending on the size and depth of the lesion and whether or not it has spread)

Excision will cut out the skin cancer as well as a small amount of the surrounding tissue after the area has been numbed. A pathologist then examines the removed tissue.

Curettage and electrodesiccation is a two-step process that removes the tumor by scraping, followed by thermal destruction.

Topical Chemotherapy can be used in the early stages of basal cell carcinomas. This involves creams containing 5-fluorouracil (Carac of Efudex) or Imiquimod(Aldara or Zyclara).

Mohs surgery (pronounced “moes”) is a highly specialized and precise surgery that removes the least amount of tissue to eradicate the cancer and preserve as much healthy tissue as possible. Mohs surgery has the highest cure rate for skin cancers. It is an in-office procedure that may take several hours. The surgeon removes the cancer, as well as a very small amount of the surrounding tissue, which is immediately examined under a microscope. These steps are repeated until the cancer is completely eradicated.

Prevention Tips
  • Wear broad spectrum sunscreens with a minimum of SPF 30
  • Avoid exposure to midday sun, especially between 10am-2pm
  • Wear protective clothing including a wide brimmed hat
  • Wear UV protective sunglasses to protect the eyes
  • Avoid tanning and tanning booths
  • Examine your skin monthly
  • See your dermatologist for regular skin checks

The first step is a consultation appointment. Please call 508-747-0711 or request your consultation online today.