Features of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Skin

Squamous cell cancer (SCC) can occur on any part of the skin but is most common on the sun exposed areas such as

- face

- ears

- neck

- chest

- back

- arms, legs

- lips

- genitals anal area

Squamous typically occurs in two varied forms:

It may either occur as a red nodule which may be seen on the ears, forehead or neck

Or it may appear as a flat scaly lesion which appears crusty to dry.

The color of a SCC is generally dark to grey but may appear pink at times

The Squamous cell cancers on the skin may appear as

- flesh colored masses that are red or brown

- the size of the lesions may vary from 2 mm- 2 cm

- when touched they have a rough texture

- crusting and scaling is a common feature of the lesions on the forehead and face

- sometimes may appears like a warty growth

- may occasionally bleed

- sometimes may appear as an ulcer

- on the mouth and around the lips, SCC appear white and scaly

Squamous cell carcinomas are generally slow growing and the diagnosis of cancer is always hard to make initially. These cancers may mimic other signs of skin damage caused by sun exposure and appear innocuous. In many cases, SCC presents as a dry scaly brown-dark lesion on the face known as actinic keratosis. This lesion is a precursor of SCC. Often individuals may have a number of these precancerous lesions. Over time, many such lesions will develop into frank SCC.

Most times, SCC occurs on the superficial skin layers. However, if the diagnosis is delayed, these lesions can grow into the deeper layers of the skin and penetrate other nearby by structures. Spread to other parts of the body (Metastasis) can occur. The incidence of metastasis SCC varies and is dependent on the size of the lesion and depth of penetration.

Lesions on the face and hands are more likely to spread.

Have specific questions?

All Article Categories

Before & After Photos

Suggested Doctors

Recently Asked Questions