Why choose us for squamous cell skin cancer care?
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) skin cancer occurs when cancer cells grow out of squamous cells found in the top-most layers of skin.
At Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, you have access to highly specialized care. Our dermatology and cancer experts care about meeting the diverse needs of San Antonio and surrounding communities.
Board-certified dermatologists use their expertise and leading treatments, such as Mohs micrographic surgery, to personalize care. Specialists team up to offer expanded options, including some of today’s most exciting cancer advances, for complex cases.
Find out more about our skin cancer program.
What you need to know about squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer
- Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. In recent years, it has affected an increasing number of people. Many SCC skin cancers respond well to treatment.
- SCC skin cancer commonly develops in areas (like the head or ears) that get more sun than other parts of the body. But it can occur anywhere, including the genitals. Learn more about penile cancer.
- SCC skin cancer may start as a precancerous growth called actinic keratosis. Regular screenings with a dermatologist can detect and treat these precancer growths, helping prevent squamous cell cancers from forming. We can help you assess your cancer risk with a personalized skin cancer screening plan.
- We treat many SCC skin cancers using in-office treatments or surgical procedures, including Mohs surgery. Our team includes a dermatologist who has intensive ACGME-accredited fellowship surgical training in this specialized procedure. Mohs surgery is widely considered the “gold standard” treatment for SCC skin cancer for its high level of precision.
- Our dermatologists work closely with cancer doctors to expand treatment options for advanced or difficult-to-treat SCC skin cancer cases. Doctors collaborate to determine the most appropriate therapies for your needs. Your care plan may include newly approved medications or clinical trial treatments, if you are eligible.
- Squamous cells located inside the body (in the mouth, throat and other areas) can develop cancer. SCC skin cancers need different treatments than squamous cell cancers that occur inside the body. Learn more about head and neck cancer reconstructive surgery.
How to talk to your doctor about squamous cell skin cancer
If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer, you don’t have to go through it alone. Our doctors and support team are here to provide helpful education and understanding.
We get to know many of our patients on a personal level, building trusted relationships over years of delivering compassionate care. We take the time to explain your diagnosis and treatment options in detail, and we partner with you in your long-term health.
Many patients choose to have a family member or loved one sit in on their appointments. We encourage that involvement, which can serve as an added layer of support throughout your care.
You might want to ask your doctor about:
- Additional testing, if any, you may need to inform your diagnosis or treatment plan
- Cancer details, including the size, skin location and type of SCC skin cancer and the chance it could spread
- Treatment options, including any steps you should take after treatment to protect your skin
- Potential treatment side effects and how you can manage them
- Screening and prevention, including skin safety tips and how often your doctor recommends skin cancer screening to help protect your future health
There are many types of SCC skin cancer (also called cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma). Not all SCC skin cancers act the same way.
Some types of SCC skin cancers may be more likely to spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes. Certain SCC skin cancers pose a more serious threat to people with compromised immune systems due to an organ transplant or other health concern.
Our team includes experienced fellowship-trained surgeons who are trained in the nuances of SCC skin cancers. Their expertise helps us pinpoint the most appropriate treatment course for you.