Squamous cell carcinoma, or SCC, is the second most common form of skin cancer and is a non-melanoma skin cancer. The number of cases of squamous cell cancer has been increasing for several years. This may be due to a combination of more sun exposure, early detection and people living longer. As a rule, men are about three times more likely than women to develop squamous cell cancers. This may be due to higher levels of sun exposure.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer among African Americans and Asian Indians. About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
It’s important to note that there's mounting evidence of a link between tanning bed use and all skin cancers. A recent study found that using an indoor tanning bed was associated with more than a 100 percent increase in the risk of squamous cell carcinoma. Seventy one percent of tanning salon patrons are girls and women, ages 16 to 29. In the past 30 years, the squamous cell carcinoma rate for women has increased significantly.
Early screening and diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma, and all skin cancers, are vital to treatment success.