View Full Version : Squamous Cell Carcinoma

05-13-2008, 01:25 PM

My mom just had a squamous cell carcinoma removed from her scalp. It looked like a "wart".

About 11 months ago the growth was removed and it was biopsied. came back as seborherric Keratosis. This rarely if ever turns. The growth came back. 3 weeks ago we went to the dermatologist, he said it looked ok but since it grew back he wanted to biopsy it again. It came back Squamous Cell Carcinoma. We freaked. I couldn't believe this. He intially told us to come back on May 19th so he could do an excision. I was NOT happy with that. I pushed and pushed and pushed and finally got my mom an appt. 4 day later in their office with the Moh's surgeon. They did Moh's surgery on my mom last Friday. They went in once....the dr. read the report and said..not bad, not bad. I am going in again and this should do it. I want to be 100% certain. Came back fine. She has 6 stitches. Dr. said she believes it will NOT return.

Anyone have this? We are worried but I know that if skin cancer is detected early.....it is curable.

Pls. advise.


05-14-2008, 06:10 AM
Several years ago, my mother had the Mohs procedure done on her cheek for an area presenting with squamous cells. She had a number of stitches, but the wound healed and she went on her merry way believing that all was well and that if she stayed out of the sun and used sunscreen she would be fine. In January of '07 she developed a lump on her neck. She went to her GP who sent her to an ENT. He determined that there was a problem with her parotid gland, and she would have to have it out. He removed it, and it was determined that it stemmed from the squamous cells that had metastisized over time. She did 8-12 weeks of radiation and has an even greater sensitivity to sun than she did. So, yes, squamous cell carcinoma has reared its ugly head in our family. Needless to say, we are all more diligent in our sunscreen use.

05-14-2008, 08:22 AM
Did she continue to be checked for other growths? I am worried.......

How deep was your mom's squamous cell carcinoma on her cheeck? I know 2 others that have this as well. She (my mom) was NEVER a sun person....she is now 76 years old. She had this growth that looked like a wart on her scalp.....squamous cell is cureable if found early just like basal. However...it can spread.

How deep was your mom's? My dr. told her she is sure it won't come back.

How many layers did they remove on your mom?

05-15-2008, 02:00 PM
I don't know how many layers they removed from her cheek - clearly, it wasn't enough. It seems to me it was a fair amount - more than a few layers. She was 76 when all of this started, and turned 77 in January. She's Irish - fair skin and freckles - and grew up knowing nothing about sunscreen. I wouldn't say she was a sun person, but she didn't go out of her way to avoid it. She told me that when she and her sisters were growing up in the hot summer sun of middle Georgia they would use baby oil and iodine to enhance their tans. I also remember her sitting in the sun during the summer at the pool when I was growing up. We never had anything above SPF 4, and I'm not sure how diligent she was about using it.

She alternates months visiting her oncologist and ENT, and makes frequent visits to the dermatologist. I know that she had more squamous cells removed from her arms this past fall and they had to dig pretty deep to get everything. She was in a lot of pain just from two areas that had to be taken care of.

I'm sure you and your mother trust her doctor, but just because she says she is sure it won't come back doesn't mean it won't. Be sure to keep an eye on it and question everything.

05-16-2008, 10:11 AM
My mom was never a sun worshiper at all. Ever...she is fair. Italian. but very fair.

This growth in her scalp looked like a wart. We had mohs surgery last week and they went it 2X. Dr. said, not bad, not that bad at all but I'm going to take one more layer (the 2nd time), this should do it and it did. There were many people there in that office removing growths, etc. Squamous cell, basal cell too.

She will get checked and we will be diligent. My mom too is 76 now.

I know squamous if not taken care of early, can spread. How do we know when early is???

05-17-2008, 05:27 PM
Hi, my name is Anne. To answer your question you can never tell when early is. My mother had several SCC's on her face so when I had one come up on my nose I knew within days what it was. I went to my doctor's office and saw a nurse practioner and she said it was not skin cancer and put me on antibiotic. She also made an appointment for me to see the doctor in a week. A week later it was larger and he took one look at it and said it was skin cancer. He scheduled me with a dermatologist who looked at me and said I don't do noses so he set me up with an ENT. They did not do mohs so I had some removed, waited a week for the lab results and did this 3 more times. Had surgery to repair the hole made by the removal of the SCC and two weeks later another SCC came up. They set me up with a radiation oncologist. I had an MRI and found out that it had metatsized into the left side of my face. I have had to have half of my nose removed, 5cm of skin and bone, my sinus and a main nerve in my face. This all happened in the span of 3 months. This only happens in 3-4% of all cases yearly. I have been cancer free since 10/31/06. I am still going thru reconstruction. Since I had radiation I heal a lot slower and my blood flow is not good on the left side of my face. I have a hole that the doctor has been trying to close but I have had several surgeries and it keeps opening back up. My last one was on March 18th of this year. He is going to do another surgery in August to try to close the hole. I will probably be another year or so before they are done. I tell everyone if you are concerned have it checked out. I met a man yesterday who asked me if I had had skin cancer. His son had a sore under his eye that would not heal. He had it for two years before his family finally talked him into getting it checked out. He just recently went and had it removed. It was SCC but it did not get into the bone. They took skin from the back of his neck to graft the his face. So you really never know.

PTChamp - I did the same thing you mom did. I grew up in California and was in the sun constantly. When I was a teenager I used the baby oil. I also have fair skin and had freckles as a child. I agree with you to keep and eye open and question everything.