Squamous Cell Carcinoma
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Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common of the skin cancers. It behaves locally as a true malignancy, growing and destroying all tissues in its path. Also, it may spread to distant organs through "metastasis." The commonest of the SCCs arise in sum damaged skin. These tend to behave in an indolent, and relatively "benign" way in that they rarely metastasize unless neglected for a long time. Squamous carcinomas which develop in burn scars, around foreign bodies, or "de novo" ( from nothing) in non-sundamaged skin, behave much more aggressively, and are likely to metastasize early.

The presentation of SCC is usually as a skin ulcer ( i.e. a raw spot which hurts and may bleed). When a sratchy patch of sun-damaged skin (known as a "keratosis") ulcerates and begins to bleed, this is strong indication of malignant change

This is a SCC with an overlying crust. It developed in a large patch of sun-damaged skin.
SCC most often presents on the portions of the body with regular sun exposure. Hence, the face and the back ofthe hands are the most likely surfaces to be affected.
A SCC on the back of the hand.

2/21/00

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