Squamous Cell Carcinoma Specialist

Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center -  - Dermatologist

Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center

Dermatologists & Mohs Surgeons located in Glen Allen, VA

Squamous cell carcinoma is a common skin cancer typically on sun-exposed skin that can arise from the pre-cancers, actinic keratoses. Seeking treatment early for any unusual, painful, or non-healing site can prevent serious complications associated with skin cancer. At Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center in Glen Allen, Virginia, William Gillen, MD, Patricia O’Connor, MD, and their team diagnose and treat squamous cell carcinoma by removing skin lesions with surgical techniques, including Mohs surgery, or other more conservative procedures, if appropriate. Call the Richmond-area office today, or send us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Q & A

What is squamous cell carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinoma is a common type of skin cancer that develops in the middle or outer layers of the skin. While not usually life-threatening, this type of skin cancer can spread to other areas of your body and become dangerous, especially in sensitive areas like your ears and lips. Early detection and treatment are important. Mohs surgery, offered at Absolute Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center by Dr. William Gillen, MD, has a cure rate as high as 99% for some tumors.

What are the symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma?

Some signs and symptoms to watch out for that might indicate squamous cell carcinoma include:

  • A sore with scaly crusts
  • A red, firm nodule that develops quickly 
  • Raised, red patches on sun-exposed skin 
  • New sores
  • Scaly, rough skin patches
  • Raised areas on ulcers or scars
  • Rough patches or sores in your mouth
  • Wart-like sores on your genitals or anus

Squamous cell carcinoma often appears on areas of sun-exposed skin, including your lips, ears, hands, and scalp. However, this form of skin cancer can develop anywhere on your body. It can be the result of HPV infections in or around the genitals, anus, or mouth.

What are the risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma?

Some of the many risk factors associated with squamous cell carcinoma include:

  • Too much sun exposure
  • Tanning bed use
  • Fair skin
  • History of sunburn
  • Personal history of skin cancer
  • Actinic keratosis
  • Some genetic disorders
  • A weak immune system
  • History of HPV infection 

While you can’t always prevent squamous cell carcinoma, you can lower your risk by protecting your skin from the sun and seeking treatment for actinic keratoses, precancerous lesions. Use sunscreen year-round, wear protective clothing, avoiding tanning beds, examine your skin, and see a dermatologist regularly for skin cancer screenings.

How is squamous cell carcinoma diagnosed?

When you visit the office of Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center, you and your specialist will talk about your personal and family history of skin cancer and other risk factors for skin cancer like your history of blistering sunburns, tanning bed use, or immunosuppression. 

They examine your skin, use a tool called a dermatoscope to more closely evaluate lesions, and ultimately use a procedure called a skin biopsy to confirm your diagnosis. This procedure involves removing part or all of the concerning lesions for microscopic evaluation. After this, the team will develop a treatment plan with you based on the type and degree of involvement of your skin cancer.

How is squamous cell carcinoma treated?

Your personalized squamous cell carcinoma treatment plan and prevention of future skin cancers might include surgical or non-invasive techniques or a combination of both. Treatment options include:

  •  Freezing of actinic keratoses
  • Treatment of diffuse sun damage with photodynamic therapy and/or topical immune modulating creams. 
  • Curettage and electrodesiccation (ED & C)
  • Excision
  • Mohs surgery
  • Radiation therapy

If skin cancer spreads to other parts of your body, you may need systemic therapies to stop its progression that will be managed by an oncologist in a coordinated effort with your team at Absolute Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center. 

Don’t let squamous cell carcinoma go undetected and lead to dangerous complications. Schedule an appointment by phone or send us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.

References and Resources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/squamous-cell-carcinoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20352480 

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer/types/common/scc 

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/basal-and-squamous-cell-skin-cancer/treating/squamousl-cell-carcinoma.html