Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Specialist
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is less common than basal cell carcinomas, and it can spread to other areas of the body. Brevard Medical Dermatology offers advanced approaches to treat SCC in patients in and around Brevard County, FL, including noninvasive superficial radiotherapy designed to eliminate the risk of scarring.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Q & A

What is squamous cell carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer, with about a million new cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. The most common sites for SCC growths are the lips, ears, neck, head, legs, arms and hands. Squamous cell carcinoma may spread to other areas of the body, including the bones and lymph nodes. Early detection is critical to prevent the cancer from spreading.

What are the signs and symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinoma begins as a hardened bump or a scaly, reddish patch of skin. Growths may appear crusty, and they can bleed easily when scratched or bumped. Sometimes, larger growths may become itchy or sore. SCC becomes more common with age, and it’s also more common among people with fair skin and those with HIV or AIDS. Prolonged, repeated and intense exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds is a major risk factor.

How is squamous cell carcinoma diagnosed?

Diagnosis begins with an examination of the growth or abnormal skin patch and a review of the patient’s medical history and symptoms, as well as a discussion of risk factors like sun exposure or tanning bed use. A small skin sample or biopsy will be taken and sent to a lab for further evaluation, and in some cases, other tests may also be performed. The doctor may also feel the lymph nodes in the neck to check for swelling that could indicate cancer.

What squamous cell carcinoma treatments are available?

Several techniques are used to treat squamous cell carcinomas, including:

  • surgical removal using special instruments to carefully “cut away” the cancerous tissue
  • curettage and desiccation to remove the cancerous growth and destroy the cancer cells using electrocautery (heat)
  • cryosurgery to “freeze” the cancer using liquid nitrogen
  • topical or oral medications
  • superficial radiotherapy (SRT), a specialized radiation technique that penetrates specific depths of tissue, leaving surrounding tissue unaffected

Brevard Medical Dermatology is a leading provider of SCC treatments, and our Titusville location is one of only two locations in Brevard County to offer SRT.

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