Board-certified dermatologist and Fellowship-trained skin cancer surgeon Dr. Aradhna Saxena provides specialized treatments for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The upper layers of your skin are formed by squamous cells, and when these cells change or evolve, usually due to sun damage, they can develop into squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). SCC can grow outward as well as invade deeper into the skin. A small percentage of SCC will metastasize - spread to other parts of the body - if left untreated.
SCC is quite common in those who do not take proper sun-exposure precautions. It is easily preventable by limiting exposure to UV rays, using sunscreen, and wearing protective clothing. If you have a suspicious or concerning area on your skin that is itching, flaking, or bleeds too "easily," please schedule a skin cancer screening at a Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute location in Greater Philadelphia right away.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma Causes
Typically, SCC is caused by overexposure to the sun or ultraviolet (UV) rays from tanning beds. However, long-term exposure to certain toxic chemicals, such as insecticides or arsenic, can also lead to squamous cell carcinoma. Spending too much time out in the sun without using sunscreen and other forms of sun protection, such as clothing and hats, can also elevate your risk for skin cancer. The most common cause of SCC is tanning outdoors or in a tanning bed. Unfortunately, "safe" tans are a myth, and strict precautions are necessary to protect your skin while enjoying yourself outdoors.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma Symptoms
SCCs can appear anywhere on the body but are most common on the face, lips, ears, scalp, arms, or legs. They can look like rough, scaly, or red nodules, large, rough, dark brown or black patches, or like open sores that won't heal. They typically start off as actinic keratosis (AKs), which are smaller, crusty, brown or flesh-colored patches of skin. The most frequently seen symptoms are itching, pain, and bleeding. Please contact the Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute right away if you have any lesions you suspect could be squamous cell carcinoma.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma Treatments
At the Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute, Dr. Saxena offers multiple treatment options for SCCs, such as:
- Surgical excision: This common treatment surgically removes skin cancer lesions with a scalpel. Dr. Saxena will create horizontal cuts to excise the lesion and its adjacent tissue.
- Electrodesiccation and curettage (ED&C): This nonsurgical procedure involves heating and scraping small cancerous lesions for removal. Moles and other noncancerous lesions can also be treated with ED&C.
- Mohs surgery: This is a precise surgery done in stages to ensure that all of the cancerous tissue is removed while affecting as little healthy tissue as possible. The growth is removed and tested, and then the tissue inside the removal wound is shaved in any spots that correlate with cancerous cells on the outside of the removed tissue.
- Topical chemotherapy: This treatment comes in the form of medicated creams that are applied to the lesions in the privacy of your own home. The specific creams and dosages will differ from patient to patient.
"My teenage daughter and I are both patients of Dr. Kasper. The reception area is modern and bright. The reception area staff is always welcoming. Dr. Kasper is friendly and efficient. Wait time is short, which I appreciate. I am thinking about booking an aesthetician appointment or two in the near future."- M.A. / Yelp / Jun 30, 2019
"Woowwwww! Went in for a while body exam because I gave fair skin. Best experience I have had at a dermatologist, or maybe at any doctors office ever. So clean. Punctual. Organized. Pleasant. The PA Amy that I saw was personable, pleasant and knowledgeable! What a tremendously positive experience! Would highly recommend !"- M.S. / Yelp / Feb 26, 2020
"Excellent service from front desk to providers!!"- D.P. / Google / Feb 20, 2020
"Absolutely a positive experience. The office is really well designed. I walked in and was greeted and taken care of right away. The woman doing my registration was very nice. The doctor (Dr. Manion) was friendly and all business. Took care of my issue that day in less than 5 minutes. Pain free. Solid explanations. Great doctor. Scheduling a follow up was easy too. Amanda made it seamless and simple."- B.M. / Google / Feb 14, 2020
"I am new to this practice so I have only been there twice so I cannot make an overall rating yet. I will say that the check in receptionist was great. There was a discrepancy with my copay, the woman double checked the information and verified on her end what she was seeing which was incorrect. She then took me at my word and charged me the copay that I paid last time in case what I was saying was accurate. I confirmed later with the office building department (which was also a very pleasant and positive phone call) The front desk woman did not argue and neither did I. It was just a very pleasant transaction that in my experience with payment does not happen very often so it was refreshing and I am very grateful to her. Same thing with the billing department Jennifer I believe was very patient, kind, and helpful. Even though I've only been here for 2 visits so far top notch help and service. I truly appreciate what everyone has done for me so far."- J.B. / Google / Jan 30, 2020
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Experienced dermatologist and skin cancer specialist Dr. Aradhna Saxena has treated countless Philadelphia-area men and women for squamous cell carcinoma. It's very important to have SCCs treated as soon as they are diagnosed, because they can very easily spread to other parts of the body. The Dermatology and Skin Cancer Institute also offers many treatment options to remove other cancerous skin lesions. Contact one of our offices in Fort Washington, Lansdale, or Willow Grove, PA to schedule a skin cancer screening with Dr. Saxena today.