Causes & Risk Factors Of Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a form of skin cancer that grows in the middle and outermost layers of the skin. The cells in these layers are called squamous cells, and SSC is characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells in this area. Squamous cell carcinoma is considered the second most common type of skin cancer and occurs more frequently in parts of the body and skin exposed to the sun, such as the face, arms, and legs. Freckles and age spots are both indicators of sun damage that can lead to SCC. Symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma include red nodules, rough patches on the lips or inside the mouth or wart-like sores that sometimes scab and bleed. Squamous cell carcinoma can become aggressive and cause severe complications if left untreated.

Ultraviolet Radiation

Dreamstime

Spending too much time in the sun can increase your risk of squamous cell carcinoma. Your skin’s exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight causes cumulative sun damage over the years, which causes most cases of SCC. Individuals who spend long hours outdoors for work or leisure are risking the harmful effects of the sun’s rays, such as golfers who spend many hours in the sun while enjoying the sport. Construction workers are also exposed to excessive amounts of radiation from the sun. This makes the earlier claim clear that cancerous tumors most frequently appear on parts of the body exposed to the sun. Areas prone to squamous cell carcinoma include the face, arms, back, and hands. It can even develop on bald areas of the scalp, and the bottom lip and outer edge of the ear are especially at risk for developing this form of cancer. You can lessen your risk of SCC by limiting your time in direct sunlight, wearing sunblock, and covering your skin with clothing.

Continue reading to learn more about what increases an individual’s risk of squamous cell carcinoma.