A biopsy is required to make a definitive diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma. The biopsy may consist of shaving off the top layers of skin with a surgical blade or excision of part of the tumor. The removed tissue is them examined under a microscope to determine if it is cancerous or not.
The treatment options are similar to those offered for basal cell carcinoma and may include simple surgical excision, Mohs surgery, cryosurgery (in which the tumor is destroyed by freezing), electrodessication and curettage (in which the tumor is scraped off and the base is cauterized), or radiation therapy (in which the cancerous tissue is destroyed by X-ray).
For superficial tumors, topical medications such as imiquimod or 5-fluorouracil can be used. However, these medications can cause significant skin irritation and discomfort and are generally less effective than surgical treatment options.