Australian Government Department of Health
Put on a broad-brimmed hat that shades your face and neckWear sun protective clothing that covers as much of your body as possibleSeek shadeWear wrap-around sunglassesApply SPF30+ broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen every two hours
PROTECT YOURSELF IN FIVE WAYS FROM SKIN CANCER

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

Fact sheet on squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) arises in the outer layer of skin cells.

SCC:

  • is known as a non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC)
  • is the second most common form of skin cancer
  • is less common, but more dangerous than basal cell carcinoma
  • is not as dangerous as melanoma
  • appears as a thickened, red, scaly spot that may bleed easily, crust or ulcerate
  • appears on skin most often exposed to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) – the head, neck, forearms and upper body
  • normally grows over weeks to months, but may spread to other parts of the body if not treated promptly
  • 138,000 new cases of SCC were estimated to have been diagnosed in 20081

    For more information on types of skin cancer, see the Australasian College of Dermatologists website.

    1 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Australasian Association of Cancer Registries (2008). Cancer in Australia: an overview, 2008. AIHW cat. no. CAN 32. Canberra, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.