Squamous Skin Cancer
Squamous cell skin cancer is one of the most common types of skin cancer, affecting about 700,000 Americans every year. It occurs when abnormal cells develop in the squamous layer, or the epidermis. When caught early, squamous skin cancer is highly treatable and curable. If allowed to spread, it can be disfiguring or even deadly. Monthly skin self-exams and regular checkups on your recommended schedule with Dr. Ghasri, our Los Angeles skin doctor, can help you keep your skin healthy and catch early signs of problems.
Although squamous skin cancer can occur anywhere on your body, it is most likely to develop in places that receive frequent or excessive sun exposure. Pay special attention to your lips, face, scalp, neck, ears, hands, arms and legs. This type of skin cancer affects people of all skin colors but is most common in those with fair skin, naturally light hair and lighter colored eyes. Those with a history of excessive sun exposure, who work outside or who spend large amounts of time outside are also at an increased risk.
Symptoms can include rough, scaly patches, slightly raised areas, red or brown spots, itchy red spots and sores that do not heal. Squamous skin cancers can develop from actinic keratoses, a scaly or crusty spot on the skin that occurs as a result of sun exposure. A red or brown scaly or itchy patch that resembles eczema or psoriasis may indicate Bowen’s disease, one of the earliest stages of this form of skin cancer.
If you are diagnosed with squamous skin cancer, you may have several treatment options based on the stage of cancer. Nonsurgical options can include topical treatments, radiation therapy and photodynamic therapy. Surgical options may be needed for some patients. These treatments include excision, electrodessication and curettage, cryosurgery, laser surgery and Mohs micrographic surgery.
As with many other conditions, squamous skin cancer is most easily treated when identified early. If you have any abnormal spots, sores or patches on your skin, we recommend visiting us for an accurate diagnosis. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with Dr. Ghasri.