What is the focus of history in the evaluation of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC)?

Updated: Jul 08, 2020
  • Author: Talib Najjar, DMD, MDS, PhD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

The initial presentation of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) typically includes a history of a nonhealing ulcer or abnormal growth in a sun-exposed area (see the image below).

Large, sun-induced squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) o Large, sun-induced squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) on the forehead/temple. Image courtesy of Glenn Goldman, MD.

The clinical assessment should begin with a thorough review of the risk factors for cSCC development. An assessment of the rate of tumor growth is also important, as this often reflects the aggressiveness of the lesion. The clinician should ask about features that suggest peripheral nerve involvement by the tumor, such as local pain, numbness, twitching or muscle weakness, and, with cSCCs of the face, visual changes.


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