Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is the second-most common skin cancer. It is more common in sun-exposed fair skin. Squamous cell skin cancer can metastasize, unlike basal cell skin cancer, and for this reason, diagnosis and surgical removal should not be delayed.
Squamous cell carcinoma often develops from precancerous lesions called actinic keratosis, which appear as small pink or brown scaly lesions on the skin. Actinic keratosis should be treated or removed before it progresses to squamous cell skin cancer. Once fully developed, squamous cell carcinoma usually presents as a non-healing ulcer or abnormal growth in a sun-exposed area.
The diagnosis of squamous cell skin cancer is made with a punch biopsy. This can be performed by your dermatologist or Dr. Jandali himself. If the lesion is small, it can be removed in the office procedure room under local anesthesia. The defect is closed, placing the scar in a natural skin crease to give the best cosmetic appearance. If the lesion is large, it is removed in the outpatient surgery center, and reconstruction is performed with simple closure, a small flap, or a skin graft. Radiation is sometimes needed for larger lesions that cannot be fully removed or have a positive margin, or in people who can’t tolerate surgery.
If you have been diagnosed with squamous cell skin cancer and need surgical treatment, come visit our plastic surgery office in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Call 203-374-0310 to set up an appointment with Board Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Shareef Jandali. We look forward to seeing you!