Squamous Cell Carcinoma - Dallas, TX*

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What is SCC?

The upper layers of your skin are composed of squamous cells. When they experience uncontrolled growth, you might develop a squamous cell carcinoma, or SCC. Their appearances can vary and includes a raised firm nodule, thickened red scaly patch or open sore. These sores sometimes scab and bleed. When caught early SCC is easily treatable, but nearly 9,000 people a year die from SCC — its prevalence has exploded 200% in the last thirty years. As with any skin cancer, it has the potential to appear anywhere on the body but tends to manifest most on areas of the body with increased sun exposure. More than a million people annually develop new cases of SCC. Many of these cases could have been avoided had sun exposure simply been limited. Our Skin Cancer Consultants team in Dallas, TX, under the guidance of Mohs surgeon and procedural dermatologist Dr. Thornwell Parker, is skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of squamous cell carcinoma.

Warning Signs

Squamous cell carcinomas normally look like recurring thick, rough, and scaly spots that bleed easily when they are bumped or scraped. Sometimes they present as firm nodules on the skin surface.  They can be mistaken for warts or open lesions that just won’t heal. When examining yourself for SCC, be sure to maintain a keen attention to any site that has changed from its recent condition or to any new growth. Any identification such as these should trigger an immediate visit to skin specialist like those at Skin Cancer Consultants for an evaluation since undiagnosed SCCs increase your risk of complications. Untreated SCCs can lead to disfigurement, require more invasive treatments, and sometimes be life threatening. Treatments are very successful, but they are dependent upon expedited attention to the lesion.

Causes and Risks

If you have fair skin, light-colored hair, or eyes that are grey, green or blue, you have a higher risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma. However, risk of developing SCC is not only limited to fair skinned individuals. Additionally, people who work or play out in the sun for extended periods of time are also putting themselves at extreme risk.  Other risk factors include previous radiation exposure or immune suppression.  If you have already had basal cell carcinoma, you are more likely to develop SCC. Men develop it twice as often as women. Historically, people over 50 years of age are at the highest risk of developing SCC, but it has been diagnosed in people of all ages. Indoor tanning accounts for nearly a million new skin cancer cases a year.

Treatment Options

Squamous cell carcinomas, though dangerous, are still curable if caught early enough. With early detection, they can be removed on the spot with minimal scarring or incident. However, the longer they go undetected and are left to fester, the worse they can get.  Given more time, they can reach local lymph nodes and become fatal. Fortunately, several treatment options can eradicate SCC before they reach this degree of severity. These treatment options range from Mohs micrographic or excisional surgeries to electro-surgery, cryotherapy, radiation treatments, photodynamic therapy, laser surgery, or topical chemotherapy. Most of these treatments are offered at our Dallas facility.

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Set Up Your Screening

The Skin Cancer Consultants team is well versed in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of squamous cell carcinomas. It is vital to set up periodic screens a skin care specialist so that you can be guided through the treatment of your skin concerns. However, for general prevention best practices, it is also important to have awareness of how the sun can damage your skin. We recommend adopting habits and behaviors which can protect you and your skin from the threat of SCC. In addition, we advise you to pay special attention to any previously treated sites, as they are at increased risk for relapse. If you have lesions or skin issues that are presently causing concern, we urge you to contact our facility to schedule an examination at your earliest convenience.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.