What does squamous cell carcinoma mean?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that can affect any area of your body. When present on the penis, it is called penile cancer. Squamous cells are skin cells below the outer layer of skin (epidermis). Your skin regularly renews itself by generating new skin cells, which move from below the epidermis to the outer layer of skin. When DNA (your genetic material) is damaged, often through ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or tanning beds, this renewal process is corrupted, and cells grow unchecked.

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What does squamous cell carcinoma look like?
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.