Squamous cell skin cancer

Squamous cell skin cancer is a dangerous type of skin cancer that is caused by sun exposure. It tends to appear as a quickly growing, scaly, crusted bump. It can grow deeply into the skin, penetrating all the layers of your skin:

Squamous cell skin cancer has a risk of spreading throughout your body but that risk is not as high as melanoma. However, if you develop a “bump” that grows quickly, crusts, scabs, bleeds, and doesn’t seem to go away, it is time to see your board certified dermatologist. 

When caught early, squamous cell skin cancer can be cured by removing it surgically. When it is late, you may need treatment like chemotherapy or radiation to treat the skin cancer. 

Steps to take to decrease your risk of getting squamous cell skin cancer include:

  • Getting an annual skin exam
  • Doing a monthly skin exam and making an appointment with your dermatologist if there are any new or rapidly growing bumps or spots
  • Wearing sunscreen with SPF>30
  • Wearing protective clothes, hats, and sunglasses
  • Avoiding the sun during the hottest times of the day
  • Not smoking or chewing tobacco, as this increases your risk of squamous cell skin cancer, especially in or around your mouth