It refers to a cancer derived from cells within the epidermis, called “squamous cells.” Fortunately, it is extremely treatable when caught early, though these tumors may be aggressive and rarely life-threatening. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light is most strongly linked to the development of squamous cell carcinoma, above all other skin cancers.

Squamous cell carcinoma can present in many different ways. It may appear as a small non-healing sore; a pink scaly patch; or a tender, crusty, or scaly bump. While squamous cell carcinoma is most commonly identified on the sun-exposed surfaces of the body, it can occur in sun-protected areas as well. A full body skin cancer screening can help identify any lesions worrisome for squamous cell carcinoma, which may require a skin biopsy for confirmation.

Treatment of squamous cell carcinoma can vary, but include MOHS micrographic surgery (performed by Dr. Thomas and Dr. Lieberman) or standard excision, curettage, topical chemotherapy, or radiation therapy utilizing the innovative office-based electronic brachytherapy (managed by Dr. Pomerantz and her team). The providers and staff of Thomas Dermatology are experts at tailoring treatment based on specific characteristics of the skin cancer and individual needs of the patient.