Canadian Cancer Society logo

Cancer of unknown primary

You are here: 

Treatment of squamous cell carcinoma in inguinal lymph nodes

Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for a small number of cases of cancer of unknown primary (CUP). People may have a squamous cell carcinoma in the lymph nodes in the groin (inguinal lymph nodes).


Surgery may be offered to treat squamous cell carcinoma in lymph nodes in the groin. Lymph nodes in the groin are removed (lymph node dissection). A superficial groin dissection removes lymph nodes near the skin’s surface and leaves deeper lymph nodes.

Surgery may be used alone if cancer is only in one inguinal lymph node. If more than one lymph node contains cancer, other treatments may be offered as well.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy to the groin area may be used in addition to lymph node dissection or sometimes instead of it depending on the extent of the cancer.


In some cases, chemotherapy may be offered in addition to surgery or radiation therapy (adjuvant chemotherapy).

Clinical trials

People with CUP may be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. For more information, go to clinical trials.


Paul Newcombe Volunteering during Daffodil Month is an incredibly rewarding experience, whether you have been touched by cancer or not.

Read Paul's story

Support from someone who has ‘been there’

Illustration of conversation

The Canadian Cancer Society’s peer support program is a telephone support service that matches cancer patients and their caregivers with specially trained volunteers.

Learn more