About Squamous Cell Carcinoma


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which begins in the keratinocyte cells, is the second most common skin cancer. While SCC usually develops in areas that have been exposed to the sun, it can also manifest in burn or wound sites.


SCC is capable of spreading from the surface to deeper layers of skin, lymph nodes or organs. The annual incidence of metastasis of CSCC is approximately 4%. (Burton et al. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2016;17:491-508.)


There are two subtypes of SCC, Adenoid SCC and Desmoplastic SCC, which may have a higher chance of recurrence. Both subtypes often occur on the head or neck, and Adenoid SCC appears as a nude, brown, pink or red nodule.


Source: Canadian Cancer Society, Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Guidelines for Patients

about squamous cell carcinomaRead the NCCN Guidelines for Patients®: Squamous Cell Skin Cancer, 2019 

  • Presents information in an easy-to-learn format
  • For people with cancer and those who support them
  • Step-by-step guides to the cancer care options likely to have the best results
  • Based on treatment guidelines used by health care providers worldwide
  • Designed to help you discuss cancer treatment with your doctors


Learn more about the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) here



Squamous Cell Carcinoma: What Patients Need to Know

Sept 19, 2019

Dr. David Zloty, Dermatologist and Clinical Professor at UBC, reviews the latest news, clinical data and other updates as they relate to the treatment of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), a common and sometimes metastatic skin cancer. Dr. Zloty provides an update on skin cancer statistics in Canada, an overview of the disease features, staging and prognostication, surgery and treatment options including immuno-oncology for cSCC, and the impact of all of this to patients.  Additionally, Erin Vidic, a Medical Writer with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), introduces their 2019 Patient Guidelines for Squamous Cell Skin Cancer. This comprehensive resource gives skin cancer patients a reliable checklist to inform decisions in their care, which is much-needed for this common form of cancer, and even more helpful in the metastatic setting.


Educational Video Series: What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

Sept 13, 2016

Understanding the basics around squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

Press Release

RELEASE: Save Your Skin Foundation Applauds Health Canada’s Notice of Compliance for Libtayo™ for the Treatment of Advanced Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma (CSCC), April 11, 2019

CSCC is the second most common form of skin cancer accounting for approximately one- fifth of all skin cancer cases in Canada. When CSCC invades deeper layers of the skin or adjacent tissues, it is categorized as locally advanced. Once it spreads to other distant parts of the body, it is considered metastatic. Prior to today’s announcement, in 2018 Libtayo™ received FDA approval under Priority Review and was granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation status for advanced CSCC which was created to expedite the development and review of drugs that have the potential for substantial improvement in the treatment of serious or life-threatening conditions.

NOTE: The information on the Save Your Skin website is not intended to replace the medical advice of a doctor or healthcare provider. While we make every effort to ensure that the information on our site is as current as possible, please note that information and statistics are subject to change as new research and studies are published. 

monthly self-exams are key to early detection

Making awareness and education available is crucial. Since 2006, the Foundation has worked to raise awareness of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers focusing on education, prevention and the need for improved patient care.

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