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Squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCC-Ag) is a tumor marker, a substance that is found in the blood of cancer patients. Squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCC-Ag) may indicate cervical cancer and other cancers, but not limited to. Check if the diseases are suspected, the SCC-Ag antigen concentration is determined, what are the standards for this test and how to interpret its results.

Squamous cell carcinoma antigen -SCC-Agis a neoplastic marker, i.e. a kind of squamous cell carcinoma detector , i.e. a malignant tumor that has a tendency to infiltrate, i.e. it infiltrates the surrounding tissues and may metastasize to other organs, most often to the surrounding lymph nodes.

Squamous cell carcinoma antigen is produced by both normal and neoplastic squamous cells. In the body of a he althy person, it occurs in small amounts. Its level increases only when the tumor develops. This is because SCC antigens are excreted into the circulation much more intensively from cancer cells than from he althy cells, and the concentration of SCC antigen in the blood of patients increases with the advancement of the tumor.

Unfortunately, it is a non-specific tumor marker. This means that its elevated level occurs not only in cancer, but also in other diseases, such as psoriasis.

Squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCC-Ag) - indications for the test

The determination of the SCC antigen level is most often performed to identify and evaluate the early effects of treatment for squamous cell carcinoma, mainly of the cervix.

Although the squamous cell carcinoma antigen is not specific for cervical cancer (its presence may also indicate other cancers), its specificity is the highest for this cancer. In cervical cancer, the specificity of SCC-Ag - according to some specialists - reaches up to 98%. Therefore, the determination of its concentration is helpful not only in the diagnosis, but also in monitoring the effects of treatment in women with cervical cancer, as well as in post-treatment control. The determination of SCC-Ag concentration after the end of therapy enables early detection of cancer recurrence. The increase in SCC-Ag concentration may occur even 2-5 months before disease recurrencecancer.


Squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCC-Ag) - standard

2 - 2.50 ng / ml; T1 / 2 - about 20 minutes.

It should be noted, however, that these are conventional norms (most researchers obtained these value ranges). Adopting a rigid standard is impossible, because some patients with squamous cell carcinoma have low levels of SCC antigen in the blood (below the accepted upper limit of normal), despite the fact that their body is suffering from the disease. Conversely, not every patient has an increase in SCC antigen levels above the norm that proves the presence of neoplastic disease.

Squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCC-Ag) - results interpretation

Increased concentration of this marker is found in women with cervical cancer. It should be noted that the detectability of the squamous cell carcinoma antigen depends on the stage of the tumor. In non-invasive cancer, increased marker concentrations are found in 5-10% of patients. patients with stage IA in about 30%, stage III in about 70% and in stage IV even in more than 88 percent sick women.

Increased SCC-Ag concentration does not always indicate cancer

In addition, an excessively high SCC-Ag level may indicate:

  • squamous cell carcinoma of the vagina and vulva
  • squamous cell carcinoma of the lung
  • squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck region (including esophagus, larynx and mouth)

Its increased concentration may also indicate benign neoplasms of the head and neck and numerous non-neoplastic diseases, e.g. psoriasis or kidney diseases. Slightly elevated concentrations may also occur in patients with inflammatory lung diseases.

Moreover, the concentration of SCC-Ag may also increase during radiotherapy.


Increased concentration of SCC antigen in the patient gives poor prognosis. The research shows that a significantly lower percentage of patients with the initial marker concentration above 10 ng / ml survive 5 years.

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