It is best to seek treatment for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) as early as possible, as doctors can usually treat early stage cSCC easily and locally. Delays in treatment could mean cancer spreads to other areas of the body.
Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is the
This article discusses why immediate treatment for cSCC is essential, what happens after diagnosis, treatment, and the typical outlook.
It is best for a person to seek treatment for cSCC as soon as possible.
Cutaneous SCC progresses quickly. A cSCC tumor can increase in size if a person delays treatment by as little as
Typically, cSCC does not metastasize or spread to distant areas because doctors
After diagnosis, doctors will perform tests to determine whether cancer cells have spread locally or to other areas of the body. This process is called staging. Knowing the stage of cSCC helps doctors plan the most effective treatment.
The staging process can
- imaging scans such as CT scans, PET scans, ultrasound, and X-rays
- dilated pupil eye exam, in which doctors use eye drops to dilate the pupil and examine the eye
- lymph node biopsy, in which doctors remove part or all of a lymph node to check for cancer cells
- biopsy of tissue from the primary tumor
Stages of cSCC
Read about coping with a cancer diagnosis.
Doctors can usually remove cSCC during an office visit in the early stages. However, more advanced or higher-stage cSCC may require other methods of treatment.
Sometimes, a doctor may observe cSCC over time and recommend treatment only if the cancer worsens.
Treatment options for cSCC include:
Read more about carcinoma treatment.
The outlook for cSCC is generally favorable, and 3-year survival rates for people with early stage cSCC are
However, the outlook is poorer for later-stage cSCC. People with advanced cSCC have a 5-year survival rate
Doctors can easily and effectively treat cSCC in the early stages. Delays in treatment could mean cSCC becomes more challenging to treat, has a higher risk of recurrence, and may spread to other areas of the body.
Learn more about the outlook for those with skin cancer.
A person should receive treatment for cSCC as soon as possible, as the condition is easier to treat during the early stages.
Advanced cSCC is more likely to involve invasive treatments, severe illness, metastasis, and, in some cases, death.
After diagnosis, a doctor will stage a person’s cSCC to determine the best treatment methods. In the early stages, doctors can usually remove the cancer during an office visit. A person may require chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy for more advanced or metastasized cSCC.
The outlook for people with early stage cSCC is significantly more positive than with advanced cSCC.