Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma services offered in Boise and Fruitland, ID

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is a common type of skin cancer that affects an estimated 700,000 Americans each year. Swift treatment prevents the cancer from spreading and brings many men and women to Idaho Skin Surgery Center, which has locations in Boise and Fruitland, Idaho. If you’re in need of a skin cancer screening or want to explore treatment options, book a visit by calling the office or requesting one online today. 

What is squamous cell carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a variation of skin cancer that originates in your squamous cells. These cells are located in the outermost layer of your skin, called your epidermis.

The Skin Cancer Foundation states that SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer. While the condition is not usually life-threatening, the cancer cells can spread if left untreated and can lead to serious health problems.

How do I know if I have squamous cell cancer?

SCC can develop on any area of your skin, especially those areas that’s routinely exposed to the sun. It’s also possible to find SCC on your genitals, in your anal area, and in your mouth.

The earliest sign of SCC is an area of skin that’s scaly and more red than normal. As the cancer cells multiply, the area can develop a bump that slowly increases in size. The area might develop a crust or bleed occasionally. Some squamous cell cancers develop on existing scars, moles, or birthmarks.

What are some risk factors for squamous cell cancer?

Exposure to ultraviolet light, or sunlight, is the leading cause of squamous cell cancers. There are other risk factors that increase your chances of developing this type of cancer, including:

  • Fair skin
  • History of sunburn
  • Use of tanning beds
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • History of skin cancer
  • Weakened immune system

If you’ve been diagnosed with a precancerous skin lesion, you are also at a higher risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma.

What treatment options are available for squamous cell carcinoma?

Treatment focuses on removing all cancerous cells to prevent further spread. There are many different ways this goal can be accomplished. Your Idaho Skin Surgery Center provider works with you to find the approach that suits your specific needs.

Some of the available treatment options include:

  • Electrodesiccation and curettage, using a small electric needle to remove cells
  • Medicated lotions or creams
  • Photodynamic therapy using a liquid medication and light to destroy cancer cells
  • Simple excision to surgically remove cancer cells
  • Mohs surgery to remove cancer cells and preserve healthy cells

Some treatments are better for certain areas of your body or for cancers of a certain size.

If you’re concerned about unexplained changes in your skin, contact Idaho Skin Surgery Center by phone or request an appointment online today.