• SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer
  • It is more aggressive than basal cell cancer, and if left untreated for a long time it may spread to other parts of the body
  • Most SCCs can be successfully treated by surgery

Squamous Cell Cancer (SCC)

Squamous cell cancer, or SCC, is a cancer of the cells in the outer layer of the skin. Usually, SCCs develop slowly and if they are left untreated for a long time, they can grow deeper into the skin and spread to other parts of the body. Sometimes, they can behave more aggressively and spread at an earlier stage.

What causes SCC?

As with all skin cancers, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation in the forms of sunlight or artificial tanning is the major cause of most SCCs.
Those more at risk of developing SCC include fair skin individuals who are more likely to burn in the sun, people who have spent prolonged periods exposed to sunlight (certain professions or hobbies) and those with frequent use of tanning beds.
SCC are also more common in those with reduced immune system, either due to diseases or certain medication which lower the immune system.

What are the symptoms of SCC?

Most commonly, SCC appears as a firm, raised red painful lump which tend to grow over time and can develop into an ulcer or bleeding. The superficial type of SCC occurs only on the skin surface, and may resemble a patch of eczema which does not respond to treatment.
SCC can appear anywhere on the body, but most commonly found on areas of the body which are more frequently exposed to sunlight, including the face, head, neck and ears.
It is important to seek treatment for any suspicious skin growth. Our dermatologist can examine the skin growth in detail and perform a skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

How can I prevent Squamous Cell Cancer?

When out in the sun, it is important to protect the skin from sunburn by using a high factor sunscreen, avoiding the sun during the hottest part of the day and covering the skin when exposed to sunlight.
Minimise chronic sun exposure can prevent sun damage of the skin, reducing the risk of developing SCC.

How is Squamous Cell Cancer treated?

Surgery is the main treatment for SCC. Cancer cure is achieved by removing the skin lesion entirely by Mohs Surgery or wide excision, to ensure that no cancer cells are left behind.
Depending on the type, location and severity of SCC, our dermatologist will discuss treatment options. There are other treatment such as cryosurgery using liquid nitrogen freezing spray, topical creams, photodynamic therapy, curettage with electrosurgery, and radiotherapy.
The information written and published on this website is not intended to substitute the recommendations of a trained professional and does not replace a professional consultation.
It is advisable to undergo a formal consultation to help establish a relationship between the doctor and yourself, accurately determine your concerns/problems, and get the appropriate treatments for them.
It is also imperative to note that the contents of the website with respect to treatments, results and pricing can vary from individual to individual, and can only be accurately determined by the doctor upon diagnosis.
Do note that all medical treatments will only be administered upon proper consultation, with the requirement that patients be above 21 years of age to provide legal consent.

Skin Cancer

Meet your Dermatologist

Dr Tay Liang Kiat

Dr Tay Liang Kiat is a fully accredited Dermatologist who specialises in skin cancers, Mohs micrographic surgery, dermatologic and nail surgery, aesthetic dermatology and laser procedures. With more than 20 years of clinical experience, he also manages other aspects of general ambulatory and inpatient dermatology, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, urticaria, hair loss, children skin issues and other complex medical dermatology. In addition, he has expertise in the use of the latest immunotherapy (biologics) treatment for severe eczema, psoriasis and urticaria.