Often referred to as “CSCC,” cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer in the United States. CSCC starts in squamous cells within the surface of the skin.
If CSCC progresses, it can invade deeper layers of the skin or spread to lymph nodes (which may become swollen, painful, or tender) or other parts of the body. If CSCC grows around or into the nerves, it can also cause numbness and pain, as well as muscle weakness. Surgery may be used to remove CSCC tumors on the head, neck, and other parts of the body.
In advanced stages, CSCC may be difficult to treat successfully. Patients with advanced CSCC may have multiple surgeries as part of their treatment and may need reconstructive surgery later to repair areas of the skin or other structures. Some patients with advanced CSCC may also be treated with radiation or systemic drug therapy (a type of drug that moves through the bloodstream). Certain patients may not be able to be cured with surgery or radiation.
It is estimated that 7,000 patients in the United States die each year from CSCC. Many patients with advanced CSCC have poor outcomes.
In advanced stages, CSCC may be difficult to treat successfully.