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WHO Classification of Tumours
Squamous cell carcinoma, NOS


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) arises from squamous epithelial cells, morphologically characterized by the proliferation of atypical, often pleomorphic squamous cells. Squamous cell carcinomas are graded as well, moderately, or poorly differentiated. Well differentiated carcinomas are usually associated with keratin production and the presence of intercellular bridges between adjacent cells. Typical sites of squamous cell carcinomas include the head and neck region, repiratory tract, skin and cervix.

Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is a malignant neoplasm of epidermal and mucous membrane keratinocytes characterized by variable degrees of squamous differentiation. The tumour may arise on all cutaneous surfaces and mucous membranes, but it most commonly develops in areas of direct exposure to the sun. The lesions present as shallow ulcers, often with a keratinous crust and elevated, indurated surrounds, or as plaques or nodules. Actinic damage to the surrounding skin is typical. Histologically, cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas are characterized by nests, sheets and strands of squamous epithelial cells which arise from the epidermis and extend into the dermis.
Sqamous cell carcinoma of the skin most commonly affects elderly people, but may also arise in younger patients. The risk is particularly high for fair-skinned individuals who tan poorly. The most important causative factor is ultraviolet-B radiation. The majority of tumours are only locally aggressive

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LeBoit PE, Burg G, Weedon D, Sarasin A (Eds.)
World Health Organization Classification of Tumours. Pathology and Genetics of Skin Tumours
3rd Edition
IARC Press: Lyon 2005