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What Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma? | The Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center Of Wilmington | Wilmington, North Carolina

Closer Look at Squamous Cell Carcinoma

If you had to guess how many Americans are diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) every year, what number would you say? In our experience, many people aren’t even close when guessing the estimated number of diagnosed SCC cases, let alone the combined number of all diagnosed skin cancer cases. 

To get you up to speed, squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer diagnosed in the United States. An estimated 1.8 million cases are diagnosed in the US each year. 

Even more alarming is the fact that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, with more people being diagnosed with it each year than all other cancers combined. 

With these statistics in mind, it has never been more important to learn more about the different types of skin cancers and understand your risk of developing this dangerous skin disease. 

In this helpful guide, we’re covering what you should know about squamous cell carcinoma, including what it is, what causes SCC, its symptoms and warning signs, and how we treat squamous cell carcinoma at our state-of-the-art dermatology clinic in Wilmington. 


What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma? 

Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that begins in the squamous cells. These cells are located in the epidermis, which is the top layer of skin. 

When squamous cells experience DNA damage, typically from excessive exposure to UV rays (e.g., the sun or tanning beds), they can begin to mutate and reproduce out of control. This out-of-control growth causes a cancerous lesion to form, such as a rough scaly lesion, an unusual-looking sore, or suspicious patch of skin. 


What Causes Squamous Cell Carcinoma? 

Like most other skin cancers, squamous cell carcinoma is primarily caused by frequent and excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, such as the sun or tanning beds. UV rays cause DNA damage to cells, which triggers the rapid reproduction of cells. 


Squamous Cell Carcinoma Symptoms and Warning Signs

When performing your monthly self skin exams, there are a few squamous cell carcinoma symptoms and warning signs to keep an eye out for. These include: 

  • Rough, scaly patches that may crust or bleed.
  • Wart-like sore that crusts. (May occasionally bleed.) 
  • Open sore that doesn’t heal (or heals and then returns). 
  • Raised growth with central indentation. 

If you notice any of these SCC symptoms on your body, we urge you to visit a board-certified dermatologist for a professional skin evaluation as soon as possible. The earlier you detect and treat skin cancer, the better the outcome. 


Best Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treatments 

At The Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington, we use several different skin cancer treatments to address squamous cell carcinoma. These treatments include: 

When it comes to Mohs surgery as a skin cancer treatment, it’s important to choose a Fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon, like Dr. Landon Stigall, M.D. To find out why, read this helpful blog


Skin Cancer Screenings & Treatment at The Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington 

If you need to schedule your skin cancer screening or would like to learn more about our effective skin cancer treatments, get in touch with our clinic today. Our board-certified dermatologists are highly experienced in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating all varieties of skin cancer to help patients restore the health of their skin. 


Effective Skin Cancer Treatment in Wilmington, North Carolina

If you’re ready to schedule a skin cancer screening or learn more about our effective squamous cell carcinoma treatments, get in touch with the Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington. Call us at (910) 239-0419 to schedule your next dermatology appointment.

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