Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) derives from squamous cells, which are found in the upper layers of the Epidermis. It is the uncontrolled growth of cells mainly caused by long-term or intense exposure to UV light. SCCs can occur to on all areas of the body, but they most commonly appear on patches of skin frequently exposed to the sun, such as the:
- Balding scalp
- Lower lip
- Rim of the ear
These areas often show telltale signs of sun damage, including wrinkles, freckles, changes in pigment, age spots, loss of elasticity, and broken blood vessels. SCCs often appear as scaly red spots or sores that do not heal. If left untreated, they can continue to grow bigger and penetrate the underlying tissues, leading to disfigurement such as the loss of an ear or part of the nose. They grow faster than basal cell carcinoma and, in some circumstance, can spread to the lymph nodes. At-risk patients include those whose immune responses are suppressed or whose tumors have aggressive features.
If you have been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, Dr. Michael J. Messina may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- Mohs micrographic surgery
- Excisional surgery
- Curettage and electrodesiccation
Learn more about squamous cell carcinoma in Palm Desert, California, when you contact Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Specialists at 760-773-6616 and schedule your appointment with our dermatologist.