Squamous cell carcinoma – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer, with over 200,000 new cases per year estimated in the United States. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. It involves the malignant transformation and proliferation of squamous (flat, scaly) cells, which are the most abundant type of cell in the epidermis. Middle-aged and elderly people, especially those with fair complexions and frequent sun exposure, are most likely to be affected.


There is an increased risk of NMSC in whites, especially those who have blue eyes, a fair complexion, sunburn easily, suntan poorly, freckle with sun exposure, have red, blond, or light-brown hair. NMSC is uncommon in blacks, Asians, and Hispanics. With repeated, long-term exposure to sunlight. Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun damages DNA, the stuff that holds the genetic code in body cells. Damage to DNA can cause normal cells to mutate and become cancerous. This is the main cause. People with weakened immune systems due to excessive unprotected sun exposure, chemotherapy, or those with certain illnesses such as HIV are more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma.


The skin change caused by squamous cell carcinoma most often looks like a scab. There may be a thick, adherent scale on a red, inflamed base. Normally a scab will significantly heal within 2 weeks. kin lesion may become: red in color located on the ears, hands, face, arms, neck surface may be crusted or scaly flat growth or nodule small or firm occur on the tongue, lip, genitals, mouth and other areas, lesion, growth, or bump

* Small
* Firm
* Reddened
* Nodule or flat growth
* Growth may be cone-shaped
* Surface may be scaly or crusted
* Usually located on the face, ears, neck, hands, arms
* May occur on the lip, mouth, tongue, genitals or other areas


The cancer is killed by freezing it. This technique uses liquid nitrogen. The nitrogen is applied with an aerosolized spray. This is a low-risk procedure and can be used for people who cannot tolerate surgery. This involves excision that removes the entire lesion with an approximate margin of apparently normal tissue.

Radiation therapy (XRT) is a treatment option for SCC, but is limited by the inability to definitively confirm the tumor margins. XRT, in properly fractionated doses, may be indicated when the patientÂ’s health, or size or extent of tumor precludes surgical extirpation. Consideration of the permanent tissue effects of XRT must include anticipation and management of recurrence. Adjunctive postoperative XRT may be useful in postoperative management of SCC with perineural invasion.