Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for around 20% of all cases of skin cancer and can affect you regardless of your skin tone. At Texas Skin Cancer Center in Kingwood, Pearland, and Houston, Texas, skin cancer specialist Joseph Sedrak, MD, specializes in diagnosing and treating squamous cell carcinoma using advanced approaches like Mohs surgery and topical therapy. To find out if your unusual lesion is squamous cell carcinoma and start treatment early, call Texas Skin Cancer Center or book an appointment online today.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer and affects your squamous cells. Squamous cells are one of three main cell types within your surface skin layer and are very flat. They shed off regularly as new squamous cells form.
In most cases, squamous cell carcinoma is highly treatable. However, if you don’t get treatment, it can grow or spread and become very dangerous to your health. At Texas Skin Cancer Center, Dr. Sedrak helps you explore effective and advanced treatment options to prevent your skin cancer from causing major complications.
Like other forms of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma often develops because of ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. You can reduce your risk by shielding your skin from the sun and avoiding artificial UV light sources like tanning beds.
Squamous cell carcinoma can occur nearly anywhere on your body, but most lesions appear in areas that get lots of sun. You should book an appointment for an examination if you notice:
Dr. Sedrak evaluates your lesion with a physical exam. He might request information about your lifestyle and personal medical history as well as any history of skin cancer in your family. If a lesion is particularly suspicious, he takes a biopsy to confirm whether or not it is cancerous.
Dr. Sedrak provides several effective treatment options for squamous cell carcinoma. After evaluating your lesion and diagnosing you, he might recommend:
Curettage and electrodesiccation involves scraping the cancerous growth off your skin before burning it with an electric needle to kill the remaining cancerous cells.
Mohs surgery is a delicate skin surgery that removes small parts of a tumor at a time. Dr. Sedrak removes thin layers of your tumor and examines them in a lab, repeating the process until a sample shows no more cancerous cells. This may be your best option if you want minimal or no scarring.
Dr. Sedrak uses liquid nitrogen to freeze off your squamous cell carcinoma. He repeats the process more than once to rid you of as many cancerous cells as possible.
Topical therapy involves topical chemotherapy drugs, photodynamic therapy, or both. If your squamous cell carcinoma is small or superficial, this is a great option for treatment.
For large and hard-to-reach squamous cell carcinoma, Dr. Sedrak might recommend radiation therapy or a combination of surgery and radiation therapy.
Squamous cell carcinoma can affect any skin type or tone. For expert evaluation and treatment, call Texas Skin Cancer Center or book an appointment online today.