Background: Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) may present with a history of rapid growth. Although multiple subtypes have been described regarding histologic characteristics and etiology, the subset of rapidly growing squamous cell carcinomas (RGSCC) has not been described. Objective: To evaluate and describe the clinical and histologic characteristics of squamous cell carcinomas that grow rapidly. Methods: Recorded clinical data and biopsies of 26 lesions with a history of rapid growth and histologically diagnosed as SCC were reviewed. Results: Rapidly growing SCC occurred most commonly on the head and neck, followed by hands and extremities, and had an average duration of 7 weeks before diagnosis. The average size of the lesions was 1.29 cm and nearly 20% occurred in immunosuppressed patients. Conclusions: Some SCCs may grow rapidly. The reason for the rapid growth is not clear and several hypotheses are discussed including immunosuppression and viral etiology. These lesions should be treated aggressively as their behaviour and prognosis are not yet well described.
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