Pain as an atypical presentation of squamous cell carcinoma

Theresa L. Schroeder, Deborah F. Mac Farlane, Leonard Harry Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Cancer of the skin may be difficult to diagnose clinically if there are minimal skin findings on examination. OBJECTIVE. To remind physicians that the symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) may precede physical signs of the tumor. METHODS. Perineural invasion of SCC was confirmed by histologic examination of surgical specimens. RESULTS. We present two patients whose initial presentation of SCC was facial pain due to extensive perineural invasion. Their diagnoses were delayed until skin lesions eventually became evident months later. CONCLUSION. Early detection can be lifesaving, thus emphasizing the importance of including skin cancer in the differential for facial pain or paresthesia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-266
Number of pages4
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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