Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of cancer that develops on skin that has been exposed to sun over many years. Squamous cells are thin, flat cells that look like fish scales, and are found in the tissue that forms the surface of the skin, as well as the lining of the hollow organs of the body, and the lining of the respiratory and digestive tracts. Precancerous lesions known as Actinic Keratosis (AK) may present as smaller scaly rough bumps, but if treated early can be stopped before they progress to cancer. Most cancers of head, neck, lower legs, and backs of hands are squamous cell carcinomas. Squamous cell carcinoma is highly curable with early diagnosis and treatment.

What to look for:

  • A lump or bump on the skin that feels rough.
  • A sore that does not heal or bleeds, crusts over, heals and then returns.
  • A rough, pinkish patch on the skin that is painful, itches, or burns.
  • Lips that are dry, scaly, or have a whitish color.

Photos: American Academy of Dermatology

Check for Changes and Call Your Dermatologist

Be sure to check your skin thoroughly on a regular basis. If you have moles or skin sores that are new or are changing, make an appointment to have them examined by a medical dermatologist as soon as possible. A skin biopsy can be performed during an office visit and, depending on the findings of the report, a treatment plan can be developed to manage the cancer before it spreads.

Here in the High Desert of beautiful Bend, Oregon, we get to enjoy amazing weather and a lot of gorgeous sunny days, but unprotected exposure to the sun, especially over a number of years, can increase your chances of skin cancer. Don’t let it get away from you. Make an appointment with us at Central Oregon Dermatology if you have any concerns about moles, rashes, or skin conditions.


Skin cancer can be treated, managed and usually cured if it is caught early.

Central Oregon Dermatology Mark Hall, MD

388 SW Bluff Drive
Bend, Oregon 97702
Ph:(541) 678-0020
Fax:(541) 323-2174
Open Monday-Friday

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