Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin occurs in keratinocytes, which are located in the epidermis.
Second most common nonmelanoma skin cancer worldwide, secondary to basal cell carcinoma.
Cumulative ultraviolet exposure, most commonly from the sun, and immunosuppression are major risk factors.
Treatments include nonsurgical destruction (e.g., using cryotherapy), topical and systemic chemotherapy, traditional surgical excision, and Mohs micrographic surgery.
Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the proliferation of atypical, transformed keratinocytes in the skin with malignant behavior. It ranges from in situ tumors (also known as Bowen disease) to invasive tumors and metastatic disease. Precursor lesions for SCCs are called actinic (or sun-damage) keratosis.
History and exam
- previous skin cancer
- evidence of sun damage to skin
- tender or itchy nonhealing wound originally caused by trauma
- erythematous papules or plaques
- thin, flesh-colored or erythematous plaques
- dome-shaped nodule
- exophytic, fungating, verrucous nodules or plaques
- ulcerated tumors
- bone pain
- neurologic signs
Department of Medicine
Director of Immunopathology
Laboratory Section of Dermatology
The University of Chicago
KS declares that he has no competing interests.
Medical Director, Dermatologist, and Dermatopathologist
Cutis Wellness Dermatology & Dermatopathology, PLLC
University of the Incarnate Word
Department of Family Medicine
AIN declares that she has no competing interests.
Prof K. Soltani and Dr A. I. Nwaneshiudu would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Carlos Paz and Dr Jessica M. Sheehan, the previous co-contributors to this topic. CP and JMS declare that they have no competing interests.
Clinical Professor of Dermatology
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
New York City
NS declares that she has no competing interests.
Department of Dermatology
University of Illinois
IA declares that she has no competing interests.
Professor of Dermatology & Otolaryngology
Director of Mohs, Dermatologic & Laser Surgery
Director of Surgical Training
Department of Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery
University of Miami
KN declares that he has no competing interests.
Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Dermatologist (Barts and the London NHS Trust)
Institute of Cellular and Molecular Science
JMG declares that she has no competing interests.
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