Researchers have identified more than a dozen squamous cell carcinoma risk factors, or known traits that can increase a person’s risk of developing squamous cell skin cancer. Some of these risk factors, such as ultraviolet (UV) exposure and smoking, are very common and have a strong correlation with an increased risk of developing cancer. Others are more unusual and have a much looser association with the condition. Because of these variances, it’s best for individuals to consult with experienced oncologists, such as those at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, to review their risk profile and determine what steps they should take to protect their health.
At Moffitt, our Cutaneous Oncology Program is home to a multispecialty team of oncologists who specialize exclusively in diagnosing and treating skin cancer, making them exceptionally familiar with the various risk factors associated with the condition. When evaluating a patient, our team will take into consideration his or her:
- History of tobacco use, if any
- Past exposure to UV light, arsenic and other known carcinogens
- Medical history, and specifically whether he or she has been diagnosed with HPV (or any other immune system-weakening condition), actinic keratosis, xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) or basal cell nevus syndrome (Gorlin syndrome); whether he or she has undergone radiation therapy or ultraviolet treatments for psoriasis; and whether he or she has previously been diagnosed with skin cancer
- Complexion (individuals with light and/or freckled skin are more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma than those with darker complexions)
- Age and sex (men and older adults are more frequently diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma than women and younger individuals)
It’s important for individuals to watch for any abnormal changes in their skin and participate in routine skin cancer screenings. Those who have several risk factors may wish to have more regular screenings. Our oncologists are among the most experienced in the Tampa area and the rest of the nation, and can help each patient determine the most appropriate screening frequency for his or her needs, as well as any other applicable ways to stay proactive regarding his or her health.
If you’d like to learn more about squamous cell carcinoma risk factors, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online. No referral is required; we welcome patients from Tampa, FL, and beyond.