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Postgrad Med. 1993 Jun;93(8):115-21, 125-6.

Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. Will heightened awareness of risk factors slow its increase?

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Division of Dermatology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville 32610-0277.


Although squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is still less common than basal cell carcinoma, its incidence is increasing at an alarming rate. Cumulative sun exposure is a major risk factor, and deterioration of the ozone layer combined with life-style choices that promote time in the sun may account for part of the increased incidence. Other risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma include exposure to ionizing radiation, arsenic, or industrial chemicals; viral infection; preexisting burns and scars; and immunosuppression. Actinic keratosis is considered a precancerous lesion that should be watched closely. Treatment methods for squamous cell carcinoma vary depending on the size and location of the lesion. Knowledge of high-risk locations and appropriate treatment choices ensures proper care and decreases the likelihood of metastasis.

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