Skin Cancer Pictures: Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Skin Cancer Pictures - Introduction

Caption:Skin cancer. Light micrograph of a section through a squamous carcinoma of the skin. Whorls of enclosed keratin (green, centre left) are a common feature. Magnification: x120 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
Science Photo Library - Steve Gschmeissner

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer, after basal cell carcinoma. Squamous cell cancer spreads faster than basal cell cancer but still is usually relatively slow-growing. It can spread (metastasize) to other locations, including internal organs. Squamous cell lesions should be removed surgically as soon as they are diagnosed.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Pictures - On Hand

Squamous Cell Carcinoma - Close-Up On Hand
Photo © A.D.A.M.

The main symptom of squamous cell carcinoma is a growing bump that may have a rough, scaly surface and flat reddish patches. The bump is usually located on the face, ears, neck, hands, or arms, but may occur on other areas. A sore that does not heal can also be a sign of squamous cell cancer. Any change in an existing wart, mole, or other skin lesion should be examined by a health care professional.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Pictures - On Hands

Squamous Cell Carcinoma - On Hands
Photo © A.D.A.M.

Risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma include a large number of X-rays, long-term exposure to arsenic or other chemicals, excessive sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation, having light-colored skin, blue or green eyes, or blond or red hair, and older age.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Pictures - Invasive

Squamous Cell Carcinoma - Invasive
Photo © A.D.A.M.

This irregular red nodule is an invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Its initial appearance, shown here, may be very similar to a low-grade type of SCC called a keratoacanthoma. All squamous cell cancers can metastasize (spread) and should be removed surgically as soon as they are diagnosed.

Squamous Cell Cancer Pictures - Bowen's Disease

Squamous Cell Carcinoma - Bowen's Disease
Photo © A.D.A.M.

Bowen's disease is a malignant condition, also known as "intraepidermal squamous cell carcinoma" or "squamous cell carcinoma in situ." Early lesions may resemble fungal infections, dermatitis, or psoriasis. The diagnosis is made by biopsy (examining a tissue sample).

Not sure if your skin problem resembles squamous cell skin cancer? Our other image galleries may help (and be sure to contact your doctor if you're unsure):

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