How Do I Know if I Have Squamous Cell Carcinoma?
Less common than basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer in the United States. This condition more often becomes life threatening than BCC, although the likelihood of fatality remains low. One way to help ensure your health and safety is to receive routine skin cancer screenings from a qualified physician. Our skilled dermatologist, Dr. Adam J. Mamelak,can determine if you have SCC during your initial consultation. You can further protect yourself by regularly inspecting your skin for signs of developing problems by knowing what to look for between checkups.
Typically, SCCs develop in the epidermis, which is the topmost layer of the skin; however, they can move deeper into the lower dermis and cause greater harm if left untreated. The SCC lesion will appear as a scaly wound or ulcer that never heals or heals and then returns. These marks may be itchy and tender, but they may also not cause discomfort at all. In many cases, they bleed easily. SCCs will often be found in areas that receive abundant sun exposure, such as the face, backs of the hands, and forearms. If you’re familiar with actinic keratosis (AK), these common lesions may develop into SCCs over time.
Most of the time, SCCs will cause minor local damage to the skin where they reside; however, in a small number of instances—around two to six percent of cases—the SCC will metastasize and the cancer will spread to other areas of the body. Higher risk areas for this development include the lip, ear, genitals, or within a scar. If you are concerned about a mark or lesion on your body, you should schedule an appointment for examination at Sanova Dermatology immediately. If an SCC is confirmed, treatment will be expedited and patients may be scheduled for surgery at the Austin Mohs Surgery Center.
For more information about squamous cell carcinoma and how to detect the condition, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our physicians, please contact us today.