Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma is often easily treated when diagnosed early, but when left untreated, it can be deadly. Squamous cell carcinoma kills more than twice as many people as melanoma does every year in the United States. If you are concerned about a growing or unusual lesion that may be a squamous cell carcinoma, please don’t wait. Request an appointment online or call us today.
Who is at risk for Squamous Cell Carcinoma?
Although people with darker skin are less likely to develop skin cancers, squamous cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer in people of African and Asian descent.
What does Squamous Cell Carcinoma look like?
Squamous cell carcinoma appears as red, scaly bumps on the skin typically found in sun exposed areas ,such as the head or arms. They often start as small scaly precancerous bumps known as actinic keratosis. When left untreated, these develop into larger lesions and become tumors.
There are slow growing and also very aggressive forms of this cancer. When these tumors become larger than 2 cm, poorly differentiated under the microscope, invade beyond the dermis layer of the skin, or become wrapped around a nerve, they have a much higher risk for metastasis and possibly death. This is why routine skin exams and early treatment are critical for a successful and healthy outcome.
Are skin cancers dangerous?
Yes. As with all skin cancers, early diagnosis and treatment is critical. More than 1 million people will be diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma this year in the United States. And at least 15,000 people will die of it this year. That is more than twice as many people as those who die from melanoma.
How are they treated?
There are multiple ways to treat them including curettage, wide local excision, radiation, lasers, and Mohs micrographic surgery. Our Mohs surgeon, Dr. Jessica Kim, is an expert in performing Mohs micrographic surgery. This technique offers the highest cure rate percentage for primary tumors. It also saves the most amount of healthy tissue.
When should I seek care?
If you have a lesion that could be a skin cancer, please don’t wait. Getting these treated early before they become aggressive is critical to a successful outcome.
Request an appointment online or call us today to see how we can help utilize the most advanced methods with the highest cure rates possible to treat any skin cancers that arise.