Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is a type of skin cancer that forms in the middle and outer layer of the skin. Squamous cell carcinoma can be quite aggressive, though usually not life threatening. Left untreated, however, it can grow in size and spread to other parts of the body, leading to serious complications. Squamous cell carcinomas can form anywhere in the body where there are squamous cells. Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is specific to cancer that develops in squamous cells within the skin.
Squamous cell carcinomas are usually found on sun-exposed skin, such as the face, ears, neck, lips, and backs of hands. They can, however, be found elsewhere in the body where squamous cells exist. Symptoms include:
Most squamous cell carcinomas develop as a result of long term exposure to UV rays from the sun or from tanning lamps & tanning beds. However, it can develop anywhere in your body where squamous cells are found, adding to evidence that UV rays are not the sole cause of squamous cell carcinoma.
Other risk factors include:
The cancer occurs due to changes (mutations) in the DNA of squamous cells, many of which can be found in the middle and outer layers of the skin. These changes lead to out of control growth of the squamous cells and cause the cells to continue living when normally they would die and get replaced.
At TMSC, we carefully excise the squamous cell carcinoma lesion with appropriate margins and send it for pathology analysis.
Leaving squamous cell carcinoma untreated can lead it to become disfiguring and dangerous; it can destroy nearby healthy tissue, spread to the lymph nodes or other organs, and in rare cases can become fatal.
Our surgeons are highly trained and experienced professionals who care deeply about their patients. Rest assured all of our procedures are carried out with the utmost care, precision, regard for aesthetics, and in a safe environment.
Treatment of squamous cell carcinoma is covered by OHIP.