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Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is the second most common form of human skin cancer with at least 200,000 to 400,000 new cases of cSCC expected each year in the US. These evidence-based guidelines on the management of cSCC provide the most current information on biopsy techniques, histopathologic assessment, tumor staging, surgical and nonsurgical treatments, follow-up, prevention of recurrence, and management of advanced disease. Review guideline highlights or download the full guideline below.

Squamous cell carcinoma guidelines

Access the full cSCC skin cancer guidelines from JAAD (free access)

Go to the guidelines

Guideline highlights

  • Tumor classification using the Brigham and Women's Hospital system is recommended for the most accurate prognostication in localized cSCC.

  • Stratification of localized cSCC using the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is recommended to provide practical clinical guidance for treatment of cSCC.

  • Biopsy techniques for cSCC are recommended, with the aim of identify techniques that provide optimal information for diagnosis and management of care.

  • In general, surgical therapy remains the most effective treatment for cSCC.

  • Nonsurgical therapies (radiation therapy, cryosurgery) may be selected for low-risk tumors or if surgery is contraindicated, with the understanding that the cure rate may be lower.

  • As there are limited treatment options for metastatic disease, early and complete treatment is important.

  • Patients diagnosed with cSCC should have annual checks for recurrence or other new primary skin cancer(s).

Skin Cancer Resource Center for patients

Are you looking for information on managing and treating your skin cancer? The Academy offers a wealth of skin cancer prevention and treatment information for the public in the Skin Cancer Resource Center.

View the AAD guidelines disclaimer.