Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most prevalent form of skin cancer; twenty percent of all patients diagnosed yearly have this type of skin cancer. That means nearly two hundred thousand Americans a year are found to have Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Tumors common to SCC do tend to stay on the skin, but sometimes they spread especially if they remain untreated. Thats when they are dangerous.

Risk Factors

The people most at risk for Squamous cell carcinoma are, like most skin cancers, fair skinned blonds or red heads with blue, grey or green eyes. But as well, this is the skin cancer that sixty six percent of all African Americans are more likely to have to deal with. Oddly enough, their skin cancer is more likely to appear in the areas of old skin injuries. They also find them on the soles of their feet and the palms of their hands.

Although any person who has darker skin is less likely to have issues of sunburn, all people are at risk and should use sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor, the SPF, of fifteen. Though many dermatologists will suggest the sun protection factor of fifteen is adequate more of them will suggest to you that thirty is a better minimum.

Like all skin cancers this one is more likely to appear on people who spend too much time in the unprotected ultra violet light of the sun. They appear on the upper torso, the face, hands, or neck and often on a mans bald scalp. Oddly the outer edge of the ear and the lower lip are most at risk when it comes to spots that may develop Squamous cell carcinoma. This cancer also appears in areas of the skin that have previously suffered some sort of damage.


The signs of squamous cell skin cancer are almost the same as for basal cell carcinoma; open, non-healing sores, a crusted area, an inflammation that appears as a raised nodule. Any concerns and a person must see their health care provider immediately. This one can cross the line to dangerous very easily. This is a slow growing cancer, but once the area of the tumor is bigger than three quarters of an inch it is three times more likely to spread.

Other than taking the normal precautions of staying out of the sun, or using sunscreen when youre in the sun, there are a few more things that can be done to lower a persons risk of this type of skin cancer. One way to assist in the prevention of Squamous cell carcinoma on the lips or in the mouth is to stop smoking cigarettes. Dont smoke cigars, cigarillos or use pipes and stop chewing that smokeless tobacco. Stopping the use of those items is a very important precautionary step.

People must learn that giving up a few pleasures can sometimes make a huge difference in their overall health for the future. Smoking and sunbathing seem worth giving up for a life of better health.

See Also:

Malignant Melanoma

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