Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma With Sclerosing Features: An Uncommon and Potentially Aggressive Variant

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Sclerosing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), also known as “desmoplastic” SCC, is a rare subtype of cutaneous malignancy. This variant is clinically significant because it is associated with an increased risk of local recurrence and metastasis. We herein present 16 examples of sclerotic SCC of the skin in 8 men and 3 women, with a median age of 66 years. The most common site of origin for this tumor is the skin of the head and neck, including the scalp (5 tumors in 2 different patients), forehead (3 cases), nasal ala (2 cases), neck (2 cases in the same patient), ear (2 cases), cheek (1 case), and chest (1 case). Microscopically, sclerosing SCCs are characterized by cellular cords, nests, and islands, as well as scattered single cells infiltrating densely desmoplastic and collagenized connective tissue. The differential diagnosis principally includes sclerosing basal cell carcinoma, microcystic adnexal carcinoma, and desmoplastic trichoepithelioma. The main goals of this study are to further characterize these lesions pathologically, and increase general awareness of this SCC subtype.

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