Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SSC) Skin Cancer Treatment

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SSC) Skin Cancer Treatment | St Louis DermatologyMohs micrographic surgery is a state-of-the-art, targeted and effective way of removing various forms of skin cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The procedure causes minimal damage to the surrounding normal tissue.

Mohs surgery is a time-tested technique for cancer removal in a minimally invasive way. Today, it is still widely recognized as an effective and efficient method to address Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). Notably, Mohs surgery has a cure rate of up to 99 percent for skin cancer which is much higher than some other accepted cancer treatments.

Board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness provides skin cancer treatments to patients in Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and surrounding communities across the horizon.

More Effective than Local Excision Surgery

Mohs surgery is effective on most common forms of skin cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma along with some forms of melanoma and other less common skin cancers. The objective of this treatment is to eliminate as much skin cancer as possible without damaging the surrounding normal tissue. The surgery is typically an out-patient procedure and uses local anesthesia.

This type of surgery is more advanced than traditional surgery (local excision). Local excision surgery involves eliminating visible cancer as well as a small margin of surrounding normal tissue simultaneously.

Mohs surgery enables surgeons to make sure that all the cancer cells are eliminated during the surgical procedure. This leads to an increase in the possibility of cure and decreases the requirement for further treatments or surgical procedures.  

Prior to the Procedure

In many cases, the Mohs surgery procedure for SCC procedure takes a few hours to complete. However, since it can be challenging to understand the extent of a skin tumor just by viewing the surface, physicians frequently advise the patient to reserve the entire day for the procedure.

In preparation for the surgery, the surgeon or nurse will cleanse the treatment area and outline it using a special pen. They will inject the area with local anesthesia. The anesthetic will numb the skin so that the patient does not feel any pain or discomfort during the treatment.

During the Procedure

After the anesthesia takes effect, the surgeon will use a scalpel to remove the noticeable part of cancer as well as a fine, underlying tissue layer that is slightly bigger than the visible tumor. The surgeon will place a temporary bandage on the incision site. This process only takes a few minutes.

The surgeon then sends the tissue to the lab for analysis. This part of the procedure is the most time intensive. If the cancer is found to be remaining, the surgeon will continue the Mohs surgery. The surgeon will take out an additional tissue layer from the impacted area ensuring the removal of cancer containing tissue while causing minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. Then the surgeon will examine the tissue in the lab once again.

The surgeon repeats this process till the last sample of the removed tissue is free of cancer. Local anesthesia can be administered again as necessary.


A key advantage of Mohs surgery is that the results are apparent immediately. The patient does not leave their appointment till all the skin cancer is eliminated.

The patient may have a follow-up appointment with their surgeon to monitor their recovery and ensure that the wound is healing correctly. Board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness receives patients from Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and other towns and suburbs in this region of the nation for skin cancer treatments.

If you would like to learn more about procedures and treatments at Metro East Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center by Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Jamie L. McGinness please contact us here or call (618) 622-SKIN (7546)

Taking new patients in and around the greater St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois area: East St. Louis Missouri, Shiloh Illinois, Belleville, Millstadt, Saint Clair County, Madison County and more.

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