Naples Dermatology PA
4085 Tamiami Trail North Suite B203, Naples. FL, 34103
Dr. Scott A. Ross MD
Board Certified Dermatologist
Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arising in the squamous cells, which compose most of the skin’s upper layers (the epidermis). SCCs often look like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts. Sometimes, especially on the arms and legs, they may grow rapidly and appear as a tender bump or ‘boil’ and appear almost like a cyst or infection. They may crust or bleed. They can become disfiguring and sometimes deadly if allowed to grow.
SCC is mainly caused by cumulative ultraviolet (UV) exposure over the course of a lifetime. They can occur on all areas of the body, but are most common in areas frequently exposed to the sun. They may be induced by trauma and are sometimes seen at the margins of surgical sites, burns or chronic wounds.
Squamous cell carcinomas detected at an early stage and removed promptly are almost always curable and cause minimal damage. However, left untreated, they eventually can penetrate the underlying tissues and can become disfiguring. A small percentage even metastasize to local lymph nodes, distant tissues, and organs and can become fatal.
There are several effective ways to eradicate squamous cell carcinoma. The choice of treatment is based on the tumor’s type(histology), size, location, and depth of penetration, as well as the patient's age and general health.
Treatment can almost always be performed on an outpatient basis in our office under local anesthesia. The most common treatments utilized include electrodesiccation and curettage (burning and scraping off of the cancer), localized chemotherapy injection with Methotrexate, or surgical excision and Mohs micrographic surgery.