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squamous cell spreading and other questions

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Everyone~ This is my first post here, I just found this community a few days ago. It seems like a very welcoming place to go for information and experiences.

I had a very small squamous cell tumor removed from my face a few weeks ago. She said the margins were clear and I'm not doing any systemic chemo or radiation for that. I am in the middle of a course of topical Efudex to kill off any remaining squamous cells and aktinic keratosis that remain. My face looks horrible and it's pretty miserable.

But in reading here, it seems that most folks with squamous tumors also do radiation/chemo. That was never mentioned with this one, perhaps because it had clear margins? Not that I want to do all that, just wondering that it wasn't mentioned. The topical stuff is bad enough!

My other question concerns squamous tumors and where they are likely to spread to. I had an endocrinologist appointment last week for some thyroid issues that have been ongoing. And to his (and MY) surprise, he found a small tumor on the right side of my thyroid. He said it's appearance on ultrasound is of a benign cyst and I have a biopsy scheduled for that on July 7. It is on the other side of my neck from the tumor on my face.

Has anyone had squamous cell tumors that spread? If so, where did it spread to? I have many questions now for the dermatologist, who I see again next week. At the thyroid doc, I pretty much stopped being able to hear when he said the word 'tumor'. Any experiences or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2009

I had squamous on my upper left lip in 2003. It was remove by taking the tumor out in section and looking under a microscope making sure it was gone. What I had done after was Laser treatments about 8 of them in about a years time. The Dr was very concern with mine because where it was, it grew really fast and it was causing me pain. Only to find out later if it did burst it would spread and being at lip who know where it could of went to. It sound like they caught your in it early stages. I had no new tumor and it been six year. I also apply 30 oily of lay moisturizer everyday hope this helps.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

When my father was first diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma, his doctors did not put him through radiation or chemotherapy either. He did not enter those treatments until the cancer showed up again a year later. It probably wasn't mentioned because as of now because your tumor is treatable with surgery and medication.
As far as spreading goes, My dad's started on his buttocks and worked it's way down into his muscle tissue. Just a couple of days ago, we were informed that his cancer has returned for the fourth time and has showed up in his lungs. The tumors can spread to a lot of different places I think, the only real knowledge I have is what my father is dealing with. I hope this helps you with your questions!

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2009

My understanding is that the post-op treatment is dictated by how far advanced the squamous was when it was removed, how much of the surrounding tissue was also removed, and whether or not any cancer cells were found in that surrounding tissue. Mine was best case in that the squamous was caught early, it was on my thigh which allowed the surgeon to remove (what was for me) a significant amount of flesh, and there was no cancer found in that surrounding tissue. I had no post-op treatment and have had no recurrence of the squamous.

Best Regards,


PS. Here is my recounting of my first cryosurgery: http://pauldearing.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=102

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi everyone~ I'm sorry I'm slow to get back to this post. I finished the Efudex treatment awhile back and while I'm still pink, it healed really well. THere is no scarring and even better, the wrinkles are gone! Not that I'd recommend that as a wrinkle treatment to anyone though!

The dermatologist said what she removed on my face was clear of any squamous cells. It is actually a very small scar, kind of near my left eye. I found the spot to start with and she said it was so small, it wasn't likely to be anything. I'm glad I pressed for it to be checked anyway.

Paul, your post makes me feel better. I will go look at your link in a bit. I was actually a little hesitant to post in the first place because I got off so easy. NOT that I wanted more but didn't feel like I should be here. It's really hard to believe that this one is really done and not be always waiting for the other shoe.

The thyroid mass biopsy came back clear of any cancer but positive for Hashimoto's disease. That I can live with. Just the timing of the whole thing and the dr saying "Oh LOOK, a tumor!" really threw me for a loop.

Anyway, I appreciate everyone's stories. I wish you all well who are dealing with this!

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Betsy 40.
My husband has been fighting Squamous Cell since 2007. His is very aggressive. He had a tumor in his cheek and we were told that the surgery would be very radical. They also removed, besides his cheek bone, 25% of his lip, salivary glads, and lymph nodes, even those these areas were clear. Two years later he is still fighting this aggressive cancer and his face is just about gone. Currently he is undergoing radiation 2x per day. He has a team of doctors that are constantly checking him, removing small breakouts, checking his lymph nodes, and doing blood work. He has had a skin graft done to his face. It has not been an easy road. Just make sure you see specialist and make a list of questions when you see the doctors. Don't let them rush you out. He has been on medical leave since February 2008, and probably won't return to work (59) because he is so tired. You have to stay on top of your situation and don't be afraid to ask questions. Good luck.

Anonymous user (not verified)

Hi Everyone,
I've just been diagnosed with early stage squamous cell carcinoma of my right lower lip as of May 3, 2010. They are recommending Moh's surgery. The Moh's surgeon will need to take about 1/2 of my lip, maybe more depending on what they see under the microscope. He described a vertical incision to remove just the tumorous area on the right side verses a whole lip shave (or vermillionectomy) because my entire lower lip is pre-cancerous. The left side had been having trouble with sores that wouldn't heal two years ago and was biopsed three different times, but it did not show any cancer at that time. After the removal of the whole lip they would then do a lip flap advancement, whereby they dissect the tissue on the inside of the lower lip and pull it forward or advance it, then stitch it to the border of my lower lip. This will result in a scar that runs horizontal along the lip edge. He also said if they did just the right side, he may need to do a vermillionectomy anyway. The Moh's surgeon is very experienced with cancer on the lip; they do about 300 cases a year! I live in S. Florida. I will meet with the plastic surgeon to discuss the operation more and to see what type of reconstruction will be best. If any one has any experience or thoughts that would be greatly appreciated.

Posts: 39
Joined: Apr 2011

this is the first time i have been on this site. i have a friend that has so many sc tumors removed. her skin is covered with rough skin and bumps arms legs chest and etc. nothing seems too help. this has not turned into cancer yet, and it has looked like this for a while. has anyone out there experienced this.? thanks

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2015

My husband had squamous cell cancer on his temple and left ear with perineural invaisonr. They surgically removed it but didn't do radiation because they said the margins were clear. However the microscopic cells were in the nerves and now have spread to his brain. I don't want to scare you but you have to demand an MRI with contrast to make sure it isn't spreading. I wish I knew then what I know now.

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