Non-melanoma Skin Cancer in Canada Chapter 5: Management of Squamous Cell Carcinoma Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Background Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second-most common form of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Objective To provide guidance to Canadian health care practitioners regarding management of SCCs. Methods Literature searches and development of graded recommendations were carried out as discussed in the accompanying introduction (chapter 1 of the NMSC guidelines). Results SCCs are sometimes confined to the epidermis, but they can also invade nearby tissues and, in some cases, metastasize to neighbouring lymph nodes or other organs. This chapter discusses the natural history, staging, prognosis, and management of SCC—a tumour type that is less common but typically more aggressive than BCC. For this reason, margin control is strongly preferred in treating SCCs. Conclusions Although approaches such as cryosurgery and radiation therapy may be considered for some patients, surgical excision—sometimes coupled with radiation—remains the cornerstone of SCC management. Patients with high-risk SCC may also be considered for referral to an appropriate multidisciplinary clinic.


  • Vender, Ronald
  • Sapijaszko, Mariusz
  • Zloty, David
  • Bourcier, Marc
  • Poulin, Yves
  • Janiszewski, Peter
  • Ashkenas, John

publication date

  • May 2015