Squamous Cell

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a type of skin cancer that arises from the abnormal growth of squamous cells in the epidermis (top layer). As a dermatologist, recognizing the clinical manifestations and risk factors associated with SCC is paramount in early detection and management. Chronic sun exposure, immunosuppression, radiation therapy, and certain genetic syndromes are among the key predisposing factors for developing SCC.

Diagnosing SCC involves a comprehensive physical exam, including inspection of suspicious lesions and consideration of associated symptoms such as rapid growth, ulceration, or tenderness. While SCC typically presents as a scaly, red growth or patch with a central crust or ulceration, it can have various appearances and underscores the importance of having a yearly skin check by your doctor.

Treatment options for SCC depend on factors such as tumor size, depth, location, and patient characteristics. Surgical excision with wide margins remains the primary treatment for localized disease, aiming to achieve complete tumor removal while preserving function and cosmetic appearance. Mohs micrographic surgery offers precise tissue sparing and high cure rates, particularly for SCC on the face  or high-risk areas.

In cases where surgery is not feasible or for patients with advanced or metastatic disease, nonsurgical modalities such as radiation therapy, topical therapies, cryotherapy, and systemic agents may be considered. Patient education is paramount in SCC management, emphasizing the importance of sun protection measures, regular skin self-examinations, and routine dermatologic evaluations for early detection and prevention of recurrence.

By providing comprehensive evaluation, tailored treatment options, and ongoing support, dermatologists play a pivotal role in optimizing outcomes and improving the overall prognosis for patients with squamous cell carcinoma. Through a combination of education, surveillance, and therapeutic interventions, dermatologists strive to minimize disease burden and enhance the quality of life for individuals affected by this potentially aggressive skin cancer.

Nashville Dermatology Physicians


1001 Health Park Drive Suite 470,
Brentwood, TN 37027


7:00 am - 4:00 pm


7:00 am - 4:00 pm


7:00 am - 4:00 pm


11:00 am - 6:00 pm