Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

The Second Most Common Form of Skin Cancer

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arising in the squamous cells, which compose most of the skin’s upper layers (the epidermis). SCCs often look like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed. SCC is mainly caused by cumulative UV exposure over the course of a lifetime. It can become disfiguring and sometimes deadly if allowed to grow. An estimated 700,000 cases of SCC are diagnosed each year in the US, and about two percent of all SCC – up to 8,800 people – died from the disease in the US in 2012.

SCCs may occur on all areas of the body including the mucous membranes and genitals, but are most common in areas frequently exposed to the sun, such as the rim of the ear, lower lip, face, bald scalp, neck, hands, arms and legs. Often the skin in these areas reveals telltale signs of sun damage, such as wrinkling, changes in pigmentation, and loss of elasticity.

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Skin Cancer Fact

An estimated 700,000 cases of Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are diagnosed each year in the US, and about two percent of all SCC – up to 8,800 people – died from the disease in the US in 2012.

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