NCCN Quick Guide™ | Squamous Cell Skin Cancer

1 of 2 NCCN QUICK GUIDE tm Squamous Cell Skin Cancer, 2019 This NCCNQUICK GUIDE tm sheet summarizes key points from the complete NCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Squamous Cell Skin Cancer . T hese guidelines explain which tests and treatments are recommended by experts in cancer. To view and download the guidelines, visit NCC N.or g/patients or, to order printed copies, visit What is SCC (squamous cell carcinoma)? „„ A very common type of cancer in light-skinned people „„ Usually starts in areas of the body exposed to sun, especially the head and neck „„ Once an SCC is completely removed, most people are cured „„ Rarely spreads to distant areas of the body, but can spread and cause severe damage in the area where it forms 9 What causes SCC? „„ Most squamous cell skin cancers are caused by spending too much time in the sun over the course of many years, especially in people who sunburn easily. „„ You may be more likely to get squamous cell skin cancer if you have a weakened immune system, certain genetic syndromes, actinic keratoses, or Bowen’s disease. 8 How is SCC treated? Superficial treatments These treatments affect only the top layer of the skin and should only be used for the earliest possible stage of SCC (called SCC in situ or Bowen’s disease). Photodynamic therapy, cryotherapy, and topical therapies are superficial treatments. 13 Surgery Squamous cell skin cancer is usually treated with surgery. The three main surgical techniques used to treat squamous cell skin cancer are curettage & electrodesiccation, Mohs surgery, and standard excision. Mohs surgery is preferred for high-risk SCC. 14 Radiation therapy The best way to treat SCC is usually surgery. However, radiation therapy is an option for people who don’t want surgery. Radiation therapy may also be used after surgery to try to kill remaining cancer cells. 16 Systemic therapy Systemic therapy (includes chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy) is not used often to treat SCC. It may be needed for SCC that has spread to nearby lymph nodes or to distant areas of the body and cannot be removed with surgery. 17 NCCN Guidelines for Patients ® Page Number Ü NCCN GUIDELINES FOR PATIENTS ® NCCN QUICK GUIDE tm Squamous Cell Skin Cancer 2019