Jefferson University Hospitals

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma occurs when squamous cells, within the skin and organ lining, are damaged, triggering abnormal changes. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer, but it can also impact other areas of the body, including the lungs, cervix, and head and neck. Squamous cell carcinoma typically has an extremely high cure rate if diagnosed early and treated properly. 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a known cause, particularly in head and neck cancer. While most squamous cell carcinomas of the skin are caused be extensive sun – and ultraviolet radiation – exposure, emerging evidence points toward HPV as a cause in some cases. 

If you are diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, our renowned experts at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health will develop a personalized treatment plan for you that may include a number of options that have been shown to be very successful. 

Many advanced treatments for squamous cell carcinoma of the skin are offered at Jefferson, including:  

  • Mohs micrographic surgery, one of the most advanced methods used to remove cancerous skin and minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue and the risk of leaving cancerous tissue behind. This sophisticated procedure requires the specialized expertise possessed by Jefferson dermatologic surgeons and is often used to treat recurrent skin cancers.
  • Cryosurgery, a procedure that destroys lesions through the application of extremely cold substances
  • Electrodesiccation and curettage, a procedure in which the surface of lesions is scraped off and the tumor is destroyed through the application of an electric needle
  • Radiation therapy, which entails the precise delivery of radiation to destroy cancerous cells, while sparing healthy tissue surrounding the tumor 
  • Chemotherapy, which may involve injected or ingested medications or the application of topical creams

Your physician will carefully guide you through all the options and recommend the treatment method that's best for you depending on the size of the tumor, its location and the type of cancer.

Make an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669) or