How are lesions described in 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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Approximately 70% of all cSCCs occur on the head and neck, most frequently involving the lower lip, external ear and periauricular region, or forehead and scalp. Consequently, the head and neck should be of particular interest in a comprehensive examination of a patient with suspected cSCC. The following features of the lesion should be noted (see also the images below):

  • Location (eg, eyelid SCC is more common on the lower eyelid)

  • Size

  • Character (eg, smooth/nodular, vascularity, color): SCC may appear as plaques or nodules with variable degrees of scale, crust, or ulceration

  • Presence of ulceration

    A 35-year-old man with human immunodeficiency viru A 35-year-old man with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection presented with a 2-year history of a slowly enlarging, left lower eyelid lesion; incisional biopsy revealed squamous cell carcinoma.
    A large, ulcerated, invasive squamous cell carcino A large, ulcerated, invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the left lower eyelid. This patient also had perineural invasion of the infraorbital nerve extending into the cranial base.

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