Squamous Cell Carcinoma

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What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinoma is a form of skin cancer that develops in squamous cells. While it is usually not life-threatening, it can be aggressive if left untreated. Most squamous cell carcinomas are caused by UV radiation exposure, either from tanning beds or sunlight. This type of skin cancer can be found on many different areas of the body but is most often found on areas that are often exposed to the sun.

Common signs of squamous cell carcinoma include:

  • A firm, red nodule.
  • A flat, scaly sore.
  • A new sore or a raised area on an old ulcer or scar.

Some individuals may be more at risk for developing this form of skin cancer, which include those:

  • With fair skin.
  • Who are often exposed to the sun.
  • Who use tanning beds or used tanning beds in the past.
  • Who have a history of sunburns.
  • With weakened immune systems.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treatment

Squamous cell carcinomas can usually be removed with minor surgery. However, other treatment options are also available. The treatment that is best for you will depend on the size, location, and aggressiveness of your skin cancer. Common squamous cell carcinoma treatment options include:


Simple Excision

During this procedure, the cancerous tissue will be cut out alone with a healthy margin of skin. This will be examined under a microscope to ensure that all skin cancer has been removed.

Mohs Surgery

During Mohs surgery, the cancer layers are removed one by one, and each is examined under a microscope until no cancer cells remain.

Other Treatments


This involves freezing cancer cells using liquid nitrogen. This is often a good option for treating superficial skin cancers.

Curettage and Electrodesiccation

This treatment involves removing the surfacing of the skin cancer by using a special scraping instrument called a curet. The base of the cancer is then seared with an electric needle.

Superficial Radiation Therapy

This treatment uses superficial radiation that only goes skin deep to kill and effectively remove the targeted cancer cells.  It is a good choice for patients who are older, on blood thinners, suffer from other medical issues, or have lesions on areas of the body that would be difficult to repair. SRT has a cure rate of 95%. Dr. Erwin offers this treatment in her office in partnership with SkinCure. 

Candidates for Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treatment

If you have any of the symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma listed above, or if you have been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, you can benefit from treatment. It is important that you be seen by a dermatologist if you have seen changes in the appearance of your skin, such as a change in a previous growth or a new growth. The first step toward treatment is to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Erwin, during which she will assess your skin and may take a biopsy. Then, an individualized treatment plan will be made based on the type of skin cancer, the location, and the aggressiveness.

Contact Us Today

To learn more about squamous cell carcinoma and the available treatment options, contact our office today by calling 979-543-9933! We will be happy to assist you in scheduling your consultation appointment, as well as answer any questions that you may have.