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How does stage 0 squamous cell carcinoma affect the body?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Stage 0 squamous cell carcinoma begins in the squamous cells, or keratinocytes, that make up your top layer of skin. When the DNA that controls the cells' growth is damaged, it causes an overgrowth and buildup of skin cells. This results in the symptoms you see, such as red bumps or scaly patches on your skin. Stage 0 squamous cell carcinoma most commonly affects areas of skin that are exposed to the sun (especially the face, neck, and arms), but may develop almost anywhere on the body. At stage 0, squamous cell carcinoma is still only in the epidermis, or top layer of skin. However, if it's left untreated, the cancer can spread deeper into the skin and through the body.

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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.