11 Things You Didn’t Know About Squamous Cell Carcinoma- Signs, Symptoms and More

When it comes to skin cancer many people are only aware of one type: melanoma. While melanoma is the most deadly, it isn’t the only type of skin cancer. Today, let’s take a look at squamous cell carcinoma  (SCC) so you can protect yourself. If you have any questions (or if you would like a skin cancer examination) contact Dr. Matarasso today.

2nd Most Common Skin Cancer

Squamous cell carcinoma is the 2nd most common skin cancer with 700,000 thousand cases being diagnosed each year.

UV Exposure Increases Your Risk

One of the main causes of squamous cell carcinoma is high levels of UV exposure over a lifetime. Cover up when you head outside and wear sunscreen to reduce your risk.

Tanning Beds Aren’t a Safe Choice

Tanning beds can substantially increase your risk for squamous cell carcinoma. Those that tan are 2..5 times more likely to develop an SCC than those that don’t. Sunless tanners and bronzers are a better choice for that sun kissed look.

More Common in Men

Squamous cell carcinoma is twice as common in men than in women.

SCC Most Common on Sun Exposed Skin

Although squamous cell carcinoma can be found anywhere on the body, it is most common on areas that are frequently exposed to the sun like the ears, lips and face. Bald scalps are also a common location for this type of cancer.

What do SCCs Look Like?

Squamous Cell Carcinomas often look like raised, scaly bumps, open sores, growths or warts. They may bleed or crust over. Come in for a visit if you notice any strange sores or bumps, especially if they don’t heal normally after a couple of weeks.

SCC Can Be Deadly

Many people mistakenly believe that melanoma is the only deadly skin cancer. This is not true. Squamous cell carcinoma can be deadly if it isn’t treated. Each year there are approximately 2,500 deaths from this cancer.

Highly Treatable if Caught Early

Early detection is key with SCC. This cancer is very treatable; come in any time you are concerned for a quick check.

Common Symptoms of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Is it squamous cell carcinoma? These common signs and symptoms deserve a trip to the doctor: rapid growth, raised scaly bump, sore that won’t heal, or wart-like growth that bleeds or crusts.

Older People at a Higher Risk

SCCs are rarely found in people under the age of 50. They are even more common after 70.

SCC Can Develop on Injuries and Scars

Previous injuries are a common site for SCCs. They often arise on scars, burns, previous injuries, and areas that have been exposed to certain chemicals.

Now that you know more about this potentially deadly cancer, come in for a skin cancer detection appointment and make sure you aren’t at risk.