Squamous cell carcinoma

Created: 03.08.2023

Updated 22.12.2023

Approved by: General Practitioner, Dr Binita Parmar 

Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for 20% of skin cancer cases in Northern Europe, making it the second most common type of skin cancer in this area.

Squamous cell carcinoma is more aggressive than basal cell carcinoma, and early treatment is recommended. Untreated, the condition can lead to serious problems. It is important to take precautions in the sun to reduce the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma. Wear a hat and sunscreen, and avoid using sunbeds. Familiarise yourself with your skin's normal appearance so you can effectively report any changes to your doctor, as early detection and treatment are key

Symptoms

Look for hard, red bumps or sores with a scaly/flaky edge. It usually develops in areas of the body that are exposed and damaged by the sun, but it can occur anywhere, even inside your mouth and skin under clothing.

Treatment

Treatment for Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) varies based on lesion type, size, depth, and location, as well as the patient's age and overall health. Surgery, often under local anaesthesia, is typically the preferred method. This can involve excising the SCC with a margin of healthy skin and closing the wound with stitches or a skin graft. In some cases, less invasive techniques like scraping, cryotherapy, or curettage and cautery are sufficient for superficial lesions. Mohs surgery is considered the gold standard, especially for complex cases, minimising healthy tissue removal while ensuring complete cancer excision.

Prognosis

The vast majority of patients are cured, but it is important to make the diagnosis and start treatment early.

Doctor
General Practitioner

At Dr.Dropin our experienced GPs provide a wide range of primary care services, similar to those provided by the NHS, either in the clinic or through video consultations.

Dermatologist

At Dr.Dropin, you will receive specialist care from our expert Consultant Dermatologists provided by skindoc. With extensive experience from both public and private hospitals, we can assess and treat most chronic and acute skin disorders – either in the clinic, through video, or via a photo upload service.