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Squamous Cell Carcinoma Causes & Risks


Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light through time spent in the sun is known as the primary cause of squamous cell carcinoma. However, the growth results from a combination of sun exposure and genes that make developing the cancers more likely. Squamous cell carcinoma can also grow where the skin has been damaged by a burn, a long-standing wound, been exposed to certain chemicals, or been exposed to radiation.

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.

The following factors increase your chance of developing squamous cell carcinoma:

  • Increasing age
  • Childhood sunburns , freckling, or long periods of sun exposure
  • Fair skin that rarely tans
  • Blue or green eyes
  • Blonde or red hair
  • A family history of skin cancer
  • A personal history of skin cancer
  • Treatment that suppresses the immune system, such as that prescribed for people who have had an organ transplant
  • Swallowing arsenic
  • History of radiation or ultraviolet light treatment
  • Frequent use of tanning beds

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2024 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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