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