Squamous cell carcinoma

How might squamous cell carcinoma be treated?

Skin cancer generally has a high cure rate if it is treated early. Treatment depends on how big the tumor is, its location, and how far it has spread (metastasis). Methods of treatment for squamous cell carcinoma may include:

  • Curettage and desiccation - scraping away the cancer and using electricity to kill any remaining cancer cells; this is used to treat cancers that are not very large or deep
  • Surgical excision - cutting out of the tumor and stitching up the remaining tissue
  • Radiation therapy (if the skin cancer is located in an area difficult to treat surgically)
  • Microscopically controlled excision (Mohs surgery) - repeated cutting out of small pieces of tissue that are then examined microscopically to check if any cancer has been left behind; repeated application of this technique minimizes the removal of healthy tissue and is cosmetically more satisfying, especially if carried out with a plastic surgeon as part of the medical team. This is more likely to be used for skin cancers on the nose, ears, and other areas of the face.
  • Cryosurgery - freezing and killing the cancer cells
  • Skin creams and medications - may be used to treat superficial (not very deep) squamous cell carcinoma.

The outlook for small squamous cell lesions that are removed early and completely is extremely favorable, with about 95% cured if they are removed promptly.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Where To Start

American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society provides information on Squamous cell carcinoma. Please click on the link to access this resource.

Last updated on 04-27-20

National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute provides the most current information on cancer for patients, health professionals, and the general public.
Genetics of Skin Cancer–for health professionals (PDQ®)
Skin Cancer Treatment–for health professionals (PDQ®)

Last updated on 04-27-20

Name: American Cancer Society 250 Williams Street NW
Atlanta, GA, 30329, United States
Toll Free: 1-800-227-2345 Url: https://www.cancer.org
Name: Cancer Hope Network 2 North Road, Suite A
Chester, NJ, 07930, United States
Phone: +1-908-879-4039 Toll Free: 1-877-467-3638 (1-877-HOPENET) Fax : +1-908-879-6518 Email: info@cancerhopenetwork.org/ Url: https://www.cancerhopenetwork.org/
Name: The Skin Cancer Foundation 149 Madison Avenue Suite 901
New York, NY, 10016 , United States
Phone: 212-725-5176 Url: http://www.skincancer.org/
Name: The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship 1010 Wayne Avenue Suite 770
Silver Spring, MD, 20910 , United States
Phone: 301-650-9127 Toll Free: 888-650-9127 Fax : 301-565-9670 Email: info@canceradvocacy.org Url: http://www.canceradvocacy.org

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