Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that affects the flat, thin cells that comprise the outer layer of the skin. While usually not serious, squamous cell carcinoma can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious complications. As such, it is a good idea to learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatment options for this type of skin cancer.
What Causes Squamous Cell Carcinoma?
This skin cancer is caused by the effects of harmful UV rays. For that reason, it usually manifests in areas that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as the arms, legs and face. Squamous cell carcinoma is more common among men; older adults; those who have fair skin, blonde or red hair, and blue, green or gray eyes; those who have spent extensive time in the sun or used UV tanning beds; anyone who has been exposed to arsenic, radiation or other chemicals; and people with HIV or AIDS.
How is Squamous Cell Carcinoma Detected?
Since early detection is so critical for proper treatment, it’s important to be aware of the signs of squamous cell carcinoma. See our doctor right away if you notice any unusual skin changes, including growths that look like a firm red nodule or flat sores with scaly crusts, as well as any unexplained new sores or raised areas in existing moles or growths. It’s also important to have any cut or sore that doesn’t heal within two months examined by a doctor.
At Dermatology Associates, our skilled dermatologist will do a physical exam to look for signs of squamous cell carcinoma. If a growth is detected, the dermatologist will remove a portion of the growth and send it for testing, a process known as a biopsy.
How is This Type of Skin Cancer Treated?
Treatment for squamous cell carcinoma depends on the extent of the disease when it is detected. In many cases, a topical medication or a minor surgical procedure can completely remove the cancerous area. Removal options for small lesions may include curettage, liquid nitrogen, surgical excision, and more. Squamous cell carcinoma that has enlarged may require more extensive surgery, including Mohs surgery, to remove the cancerous area.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
With locations in Norwood, Foxboro and Franklin, Dermatology Associates is here to help you every step of the way when it comes to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of squamous cell carcinoma. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more!