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I had a serious, complicated medical issue that involved more than just my skin. My primary care physician sent me to a rhuematologist who sent me ...

May 25, 2011

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

What causes squamous cell carcinoma?


Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer after basal cell carcinoma.  The primary cause of squamous cell carcinoma is sun exposure, so it tends to develop in areas that are frequently exposed to the light—hands, face, neck, arms and legs—but chemical exposure, scarring, infections and immune system disorders can also contribute to tumors developing in other areas. 

Occasionally, squamous cell carcinoma can also develop on apparently healthy, undamaged skin. Generally, it presents as thick, rough, scaly patches of skin or raised, crusty growths that may bleed when bumped. Long-term sun exposure increases a person’s likelihood of developing squamous cell carcinoma, placing older people and outdoor workers at higher risk.  It is also the most common form of skin cancer among African American people.


Why treat squamous cell carcinoma?

When detected early, squamous cell carcinoma is nearly always curable with minimal cosmetic effects.  Untreated tumors, however, will expand into the underlying tissues and have the potential to become disfiguring.  In very rare cases, squamous cell carcinoma may spread to other tissues and internal organs, which may prove fatal.

Should you develop a suspicious growth or patch of skin, please call to request an appointment with one of our dermatologists immediately.

If you are interested in learning more about skin cancer treatments, skin cancer surgery, medical dermatology or cosmetic dermatology in the Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Charlotte, North Carolina metro area, click here to request an appointment with Dr. Timothy Woodall, Dr. Richard White, or Ms. Kristin Berka. Or you can call our office, The Palmetto Skin & Laser Center, at (803) 329-6030 to schedule your appointment.