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.
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
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