Squamous cell carcinoma, or SCC, develops in the epidermis -- the outer layer of the skin. It’s one of the most common types of skin cancer and results from abnormal growth of the flat, squamous cells. It’s a non-melanoma skin cancer, but sometimes spreads to lymph nodes and organs inside the body. That’s why early screening and diagnosis are vital.
SCC usually appears in areas that receive more sun exposure, such as the head, face, neck, hands, and arms. They often appear as scaly red patches, open sores, warts, or raised growths with a dip in the middle, and they may crust or bleed.
The number of cases of squamous cell cancer has been increasing for several years. Keep in mind that there's mounting evidence of a link between tanning bed use and all skin cancers. Research suggests that using an indoor tanning bed greatly increases the risk for developing SCC, and people who use tanning beds tend to develop skin cancer at an earlier age.
Regularly checking your skin for suspicious changes can help detect squamous cell skin cancer in its earliest stages and gives the greatest chance for successful treatment. It’s important to contact your healthcare provider right away if any suspicious changes are found.