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What Is Squamous Cell Cancer?


The signs and symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma are reddened, scaly or plaque-like areas that:

  • are slightly elevated
  • can develop an ulcer
  • change over time into a hard pale pink to white nodule
  • can develop a scaly crust or a wart-like surface
  • arise from old scars, change colour, begin to bleed, ulcerate, drain, or become painful
  • commonly appear on face, ears, neck, forearms, backs of hands, and legs


Click on any of the Squamous Cell Cancer images below to enlarge. Click here for More Squamous Cell Cancer Images.

Squamous Cell Cancer: Image 1   Squamous Cell Cancer: Image 2   Squamous Cell Cancer: Image 3   Squamous Cell Cancer: Image 4   Squamous Cell Cancer: Image 5   Squamous Cell Cancer: Image 6  


Squamous Cell Cancer Video

Please view a short video (40 seconds) on what Squamous Cell Cancer looks like. The video is available in three formats:

Click the above links to open the movie in a new window, or right-click and choose "Save Target As" to save the video to a location on your computer so you can view it offline.


The diagnosis of cancer almost always requires an examination of a tissue sample from an abnormal area (biopsy). Examining this tissue can confirm whether or not cancer is present and also what type of cancer it is.

(Some material, facts, and figures have been adapted from The BC Cancer Agency ( and The Canadian Cancer Society (