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Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Clinical Overview

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common, and together these cancers are referred to as nonmelanoma skin cancer. Squamous cell tumors develop from cells just above the basal layer of the epidermis. The disease is curable if caught early. However, if left untreated, squamous cell cancer can spread to surrounding tissue as well as to the lymph nodes and other internal organs. Risk for developing squamous cell carcinoma is linked to UV exposure. Since UV damage accumulates over time, older people are at higher risk for developing squamous cell carcinoma. Other risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma include: fair skin, blond or red hair, blue or green eyes, history of indoor tanning, history of actinic keratosis, family history of skin cancer, history of radiation therapy, and exposure to coal tar or arsenic.

Last updated: Aug-02-10

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