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Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer and is associated with chronic long term sun exposure. The ears and lower lips are areas especially prone to develop SCC because of increased sun exposure. Unlike BCC, some SCC can grow rapidly and spread to lymph nodes if left untreated. SCC can develop from pre-malignant skin lesions caused by long term sun exposure known as actinic keratoses which look like red scaling patches on the hands, face, and chest. 

How to recognize a squamous cell carcinoma

SCC often has the appearance of a crusted sore (Figures 1 and 2 below) or firm red bump with surrounding scale (Figure 3).

 Figure 1. Squamous cell carcinoma of the lip

Figure 2. Squamous cell carcinoma  on the nose

Figure 3. Squamous cell carcinoma of the ear with surrounding actinic keratoses