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Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a type of skin cancer associated with lifetime exposure to ultraviolet light on fair skin. It therefore typically occurs on skin exposed regularly to sunlight such as the face, arms or lower legs.
It tends to present as a lump on the skin which develops over a few months and is often sore or painful to touch or when knocked. In some cases, the skin might break down leaving an ulcer in the centre with raised edges. Bleeding is also common.
If you are concerned you might have a squamous cell carcinoma developing on your skin, you should see a Consultant Dermatologist for assessment with a dermatoscope.
Treatment for squamous cell carcinoma may involve the following:
In most cases, once a squamous cell carcinoma has been removed it does not cause any further problems in the future.
The risk of SCC coming back at the scar site or spreading to the glands (lymph nodes) will depend on the features seen under the microscope. You will be informed whether the SCC is low risk (unlikely to come back) or high risk (higher chance of coming back).
If the lesion has any higher risk features, you may be advised to have your skin and lymph glands monitored for a 2-3 year period. At each appointment, your Dermatologist can examine any lesions of concern and check there is no sign of recurrence.
You will receive contact details for the Consultant or Skin Cancer Nurse specialist so that you can contact if you have any questions or concerns between appointments.
Spire Little Aston Dermatology Clinic, Spire Little Aston Hospital, Little Aston Hall Drive, Sutton Coldfield, Sutton Coldfield, England B74 3UP, United Kingdom