Santa Barbara Skin Institute
Dermatology & Mohs Surgery located in Santa Barbara, CA & Solvang, CA
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer. The experts at Santa Barbara Skin Institute in Santa Barbara and Solvang, California, offer precise and effective treatment for all skin cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma. Roberta Sengelmann, MD is a fellowship-trained in Mohs surgery and offers comprehensive treatment for squamous cell carcinoma. Call or book an appointment online today for reliable skin cancer treatment.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma Q & A
What is squamous cell carcinoma?
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) arises from the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells on the outer layers of the skin’s surface. It is also called cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma as a way to differentiate it from other forms of SCC elsewhere on the body.
SCC is caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. You are at risk if you’re out in the sun daily year-round sun exposure, have intense exposure during the summer, or use indoor tanning beds. SCC can affect any area of your skin — including the mucous membranes and genitals — though it is most common in areas that receive the most sun exposure, including your face, hands, neck, lips, arms, and legs.
What are the signs of squamous cell carcinoma?
If you’re out in the sun frequently, it is essential to protect yourself by wearing sunscreen and clothing and hats that cover your skin. Common warning signs of SCC include:
- A persistent, scaly red patch of skin with irregular borders
- Patches of skin that may crust or bleed occasionally
- An elevated growth with a central depression that may bleed
- Skin growths that grow rapidly in size
- An open sore that bleeds or crusts and persists for weeks
- A wartlike growth that may crust or bleed
It is also essential to understand your risk of developing skin cancer, especially if you have fair skin or have close family members who have been diagnosed with skin cancer.
How is squamous cell carcinoma treated?
When SCC is caught and treated early, the cancer is curable and will cause minimal damage to your skin. If left untreated, SCC can grow in size and may spread to surrounding lymph nodes, distant tissues, and organs and may become life-threatening.
Mohs surgery is the gold standard for the removal of SCC. Dr. Sengelmann is trained and have extensive experience in Mohs surgery to safely and effectively remove all tissue that is affected by cancerous changes.
Other treatment options include excisional surgery, electrosurgery, cryosurgery, and laser surgery. Treatment may also be combined with radiation, photodynamic therapy, and topical medications. Depending on the extent and size of your SCC, the doctors will determine the best course of treatment for you.
Get treated for squamous cell carcinoma as soon as possible by calling or scheduling an appointment at Santa Barbara Skin Institute.
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