Squamous Cell Cancer is one of the most common skin cancers that I treat in my The Woodlands dermatology and Conroe dermatology offices. In most cases involving Squamous Cell Cancer, I recommend and perform surgical excision in the dermatology clinic. A 5mm surgical margin of clinically appearing normal skin around the cancer is recommended with 1cm surgical margins reserved for larger and more poorly differentiated cancers. In high risk anatomic locations and those with perineural invasion, Mohs Micrographic Surgery may be indicated as these cancers have a higher incidence of positive margins on routine surgical excision. Aldara and Efudex cream can be used for very small Squamous Cell Cancer in situs in low risk anatomic areas or those that are inoperable due to size or anatomic location. Aldara cream is applied daily for 6 weeks and Efudex cream is applied twice a day for 6 weeks in most cases, but is patient dependent based on each individuals clinical response. Electrodessication and Curettage is used in some cases of Squamous Cell Cancer in which the cancer is curetted (scraped) with a sharp instrument and then electric current is used to cauterize the curetted area. This method suffers from being unable to evaluate the margins histologically to confirm clearance of the cancer. Radiation therapy is also a viable option for treatment of Squamous Cell Cancer in patients with cancers that are inoperable or those who desire a non-surgical alternative.
January 22, 2011
Medically reviewed by Anthony J. Perri, M.D.
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