Squamous cell carcinoma

The squamous cell carcinoma is also known as an SCC for short. This is a more aggressive tumour than a basal cell carcinoma, which can spread to local lymph nodes, though this is rare it is important.

Posted 02/4/2020 Dr James Britton - Consultant Dermatologist

The squamous cell carcinoma is also known as an SCC for short. This is a more aggressive tumour than a basal cell carcinoma, which can spread to local lymph nodes, though this is rare it is important.


The keratinocyte cell is thought to be the cells forming this tumour.

Squamous cell carcinoma is usually found in areas where the skin has been damaged (sun or scarring). There may be perineural spread requiring more care during excision.

 

Predisposing factors to getting an SCC are:

  • Chronic actinic damage

  • X- irradiation

  • Chronic ulceration and scarring

  • Smoking pipes and cigars (lip lesions)

  • Industrial carcinogens (tars, oils)

  • Infection with the wart virus (human papilloma virus or HPV) and immunosuppression

  • Genetic (xeroderma pigmentosum- defective DNA repair mechanism)

 

SCCs are commoner in males and in those Caucasians living closer to the equator and are often seen in a patient over 55 years of age with a fair skin type.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are worried over a possible skin cancer you can check  with a UK trained consultant dermatologist at https://myhealthfile.me

It is usually seen as a fairly rapidly growing nodule over a few weeks or a couple of months or sometimes longer. It is more likely to occur on a light exposed site, such as the head and neck.

This picture above was a keratoacanthoma, but it could also be a squamous cell carcinoma.

 

Treatment

Treatment is aimed at curing the tumour in one of two ways:

  • removing by excision (cutting it out)

  • treating with radiotherapy - over a few sessions putting a beam of x-rays on the area

Both treatments aim to cure the tumour fully.

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Tel : 01482 908208

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