One of the most common types of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinomas are curable if caught at an early stage. Typically characterized by a growth on the skin that looks scaly and red or brown in color, squamous cell carcinomas often have irregular borders and may look like an open sore or a wart on the skin.
Squamous cell carcinomas often develop as the result of sun exposure, and therefore typically occur in areas of the skin that are frequently exposed to sunlight. These areas include the arms, hands, legs, face, ears, lips, and the scalp. This type of skin cancer can also occur in skin that has been affected by past injuries, burns, ulcers, scars, areas that have been exposed to radiation, and sores that have been present for a long period of time. In some cases, benign pre-cancerous growths on the skin called Actinic Keratoses, or AK, may develop into squamous cell carcinomas.
Skin cancers such as squamous cell carcinomas are prone to bleeding if bumped or when pressure is applied. If left untreated, they can penetrate deeper into the skin and cause disfigurement. They can also metastasize to other tissues and organs.
Treatment Options for Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Early diagnosis and treatment of squamous cell carcinomas will increase your chances of curing the condition with minimal damage to surrounding skin, as well as reduce serious risks to your health. Treatment options include surgical techniques for removing the affected area of skin and some surrounding tissue to decrease the risk of the cancer’s return. Mohs Micrographic Surgery, a specialized treatment for skin cancer available from Dr. Paul M. Friedman, has shown remarkable effectiveness at removing the threat of certain types of skin cancer with precise, localized results, and can often be performed for squamous cell carcinoma. This procedure can be very beneficial in sparing surrounding skin from any cosmetic or functional impact when the growth is removed.