Unlike many cancers, squamous cell carcinoma does not include many procedures. Your doctor will do a physical exam to examine your skin, especially the areas suspected to be affected by the cancer. Typically, your physician can diagnose the cancer with the naked eye. However, the diagnosis must be confirmed by a biopsy. Your oncologist or dermatologist will take sample from tumor for examination under a microscope. Histological examination of the sample will allow your physician to detect and identify the cancer cells in question.
Unlike many other types of cancer, squamous cell carcinoma may be suspected even in its genesis (carcinoma in situ). Therefore, it is important to report to your doctor any suspicious skin lesion; especially if the lesion is found in places that are frequently exposed to sunlight. In general, sores that last for six weeks should make you think of a squamous cell carcinoma.
In addition, your doctor can recommend an endoscopy, chest x-ray and CT of head and neck to detect metastasis or determine the stage of the cancer.