What screening tests are available for squamous cell carcinoma?

Awareness is important for preventing and detecting squamous cell carcinoma, so remember to check your skin monthly in front of a full-length mirror for any unusual growths, bumps or patches of skin and discuss any abnormalities or concerns with your doctor.

Remember to look at the back of your neck (you can use a hand-held mirror), all around your legs and your feet – including the spaces between your toes. Be sure to check your scalp, including the area around and behind each ear, your buttocks, genitalia and back.

Skin Cancer Screenings

When squamous cell carcinoma is found early and removed, it has a high cure rate. If left untreated, however, it can spread to the lymph nodes and other parts of the body. Our team of experts will discuss with you what screening tests are best for you, as well as the steps you can take to lower your risk of developing the disease.

For many patients, screenings include:

Family History Analysis: Many skin tumor types can be inherited. In fact, while basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are often caused by exposure to the sun or UV (ultraviolet) rays, researchers have found that several hereditary syndromes and genes are associated with an increased risk of developing these types of nonmelanoma cancers.

3D VECTRA Imaging: If you see anything that appears suspicious or abnormal for you, your doctor may recommend monitoring it over time. Miami Cancer Institute’s Skin Cancer Clinic is the first in the southern United States to offer the Vectra 3D DermaGraphix whole body imaging system.

This groundbreaking 360-degree body mapping system scans, without radiation, nearly the entire surface of the skin in one instantaneous capture, without radiation, and creates a digital 3D avatar of the patient with images linked to each corresponding lesion on the avatar. This revolutionary system enables Miami Cancer Institute’s experts to study and monitor lesions and other skin abnormalities and accurately assess changes over time.

Reflectance Confocal Microscopy (RCM): This non-invasive test uses a low-power laser, without radiation or harm to the skin, to create images of skin lesions that are like the microscopic images obtained by a pathologist looking at a biopsy in a lab. This technology is helpful to determine whether a biopsy in cosmetically sensitive or hard-to-reach areas is necessary.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT): This test uses a light beam that reflects off the surface of a skin lesion to capture a 3D image of the lesion and its thickness.   

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