Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer, and it is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that arise from the squamous cells in the epidermis, the skin’s outermost layer.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma looks like scaly red patches, open sores, warts or elevated with a central depression that may cut or bleed.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for around 20% of all diagnoses in Canada.
  • Continued, long-term exposure to UV rays is the most likely cause of SCC.
  • Risk factors include chronic sun exposure, burns, scars, exposure to radiation or chemicals, chronic inflammatory conditions, Immunosuppression.
  • 80% of SCCs occur on the face, bald scalp, ears, neck, and dorsal arms/hands.
  • SCCs may occur on all areas of the body, including the mucous membranes and genitals, but are most common in areas frequently exposed to the sun. This could include the rim of the ear, lower lip, face, balding scalp, neck, hands, arms, and legs.
  • These areas may reveal signs of sun damage, including wrinkles, pigment changes, freckles, “age spots,” loss of elasticity and broken blood vessels.