The second most common skin cancer

This form of cancer is found in the squamous cells that make up most of the surface layer of the skin (the epidermis).

Squamous cell carcinomas can occur in any area of ​​the skin, including the mucous membranes of the mouth and genitals.

Of course, it is observed more often in places that are exposed to the sun, such as e.g. in the flap of the ear, the lower lip, the face, the bald part of a skull, the neck, the hands, the arms as well as the legs.

Often the skin in these areas looks visually as if it has been damaged by the sun, shows wrinkles, changes in color as well as loss of elasticity.

People with light skin, blond hair and blue, green, or gray eyes belong to the high risk groups.

But anyone with a history of significant sun exposure also belongs to the high-risk group.

Men are twice as likely as women to develop squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

It rarely occurs in people before the age of 50.


Chronic exposure to sunlight is the cause of most cases of squamous cell carcinoma.

Frequent use of artificial tanning (solarium) also doubles the risk of squamous cell carcinoma.

Skin lesions are an additional source.

Cancer can occur in burns, scars, ulcers, chronic sores, and spots on the skin that have been exposed to either radiation or certain chemicals such as e.g. petroleum by-products.

Older people present rough, blistering, slightly elevated tumors.

Studies show that 2 to 10% of untreated radial hyperkeratosis (AK) develops in squamous cell carcinoma.

Of course, 40 to 60% of squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) start from incurable radial hyperkeratosis (AKs).

Treatment options

When squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is detected at an early stage and removed immediately, it is almost always curable and, in the event that it has caused damage, this is negligible.

But if left untreated, it eventually “eats away” the underlying tissues and becomes deformed.

A small percentage can metastasize to distant tissues and organs and can even be fatal.

Therefore, the doctor should see any suspicious tumor without delay.

The diagnosis will be made after taking a piece of tissue (biopsy) that will be examined under a microscope.

In case cancer cells are observed, treatment is required.

The treatment takes place at the doctor's office or at a clinic.

Most surgeries are administered under topical anesthesia, the pain, the discomfort that the patient feels are negligible and rarely there is severe pain after treatment.

Surgical removal

The dermatologic surgeon uses a scalpel to remove the entire tumor along with the surrounding area with borders of healthy skin for safety reasons.

The wound around the surgical site is then closed with sutures.

The removed tissue is sent to the laboratory for microscopic examination to certify that all cancer cells have been removed.

The success rate with this technique is about 92% of primary tumors.


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