Frequently asked questions about squamous cell carcinomas

What are squamous-cell carcinomas?

Squamous cell carcinomas are a type of skin cancer. They are called this because of their appearance under the microscope (squamous cells are a type of skin cell).

Their behaviour is variable: many tend to be only low-grade malignancies, whereas others can spread to local lymph nodes.

The earlier they are diagnosed, the more treatment options you will have and the better the outcome for you.

What causes squamous cell carcinoma?

Squamous cell carcinomas can arise in sun-damaged skin, normal skin, or in Bowen's disease (a pre-cancerous disorder of the skin).

You can develop squamous cell carcinomas of the lip and inside the mouth (eg of the tongue, floor of mouth etc).

We believe that smoking tobacco and/or heavy alcohol consumption contributes to the development of these mouth cancers.