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Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a common form of skin cancer. It is the most common form to occur in transplant recipients. It is the second most common type of skin cancer in the non-transplant population. The risk for SCC in transplant recipients is 65 times that of the general population.

It can appear as a red, scaly bump on the skin, or an open sore that will not heal. It is often tender when gently pressed or squeezed from the side. It commonly occurs on the head, neck or back of hands, but can occur on other parts of the body. If treated early it is easily curable. If it invades deep into the skin, it can spread to the lymph nodes, requiring extensive treatment. Aggressive forms of squamous cell carcinoma that do not receive treatment in a timely manner may result in death. Squamous cell carcinoma behaves more aggressively in transplant recipients than in the general population.

Treatment can consist of electrodesiccation and curettage, surgical excision, or Mohs surgery. Very aggressive tumors may require further treatment with radiation therapy or even chemotherapy. Recommended treatment depends on the characteristics of the tumor and the patient.

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Updated on Friday, June 22nd, 2012

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