5 Common Myths about squamous cell carcinoma

A non-melanoma skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer. It is caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, and from tanning beds. Here are five common myths about squamous cell carcinoma we want to bust:


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is known as the second most common skin cancer, affecting over one million Americans every year. Patients often have many questions about their skin cancer and its treatment. Here are five commonly held beliefs about SCC and their refutations.

Myth: Squamous cell carcinoma is a mild disease.

Reality: All forms of skin cancer can be serious, especially if left untreated. SCC is highly curable when found early and treated appropriately. However, it can spread to other organs in the body and become difficult to treat if it grows unchecked.

Myth: Squamous cell carcinoma is only a problem for older people.

Reality: While SCC occurs more often in older adults, it can also affect young people, especially those with fair skin who spend a lot of time outdoors without proper sun protection. There has been an increase in the number of young adults diagnosed with SCC in recent years, so it is important that all people be aware of their risk factors regardless of age and take steps to protect themselves from overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds.

Myth: If you have squamous cell carcinoma, you will live with it forever.

Reality: The

1. Myth: Skin cancer is caused by sunburns.

Truth: A single severe sunburn at any point in your life can increase the chance of developing skin cancer by 50%. However, cumulative sun exposure, or regular exposure to small amounts of sunlight over time, increases your risk of developing skin cancer even more. That’s why you should use sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days.

2. Myth: Only fair-skinned people get skin cancer.

Truth: Although fair-skinned people are at higher risk for developing skin cancer than darker-skinned people, anyone can get skin cancer. If you have dark skin and go out in the sun without sunscreen, the sun can damage your skin and give you wrinkles. Those same wrinkles can cause skin to form cancerous lesions. Darker-skinned people may not see early signs of sun damage as easily as fair-skinned people do because dark skin produces more melanin, which makes it harder to see changes in the color of your skin such as freckles or moles that are warning signs for potential squamous cell carcinoma development.

3. Myth: Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of nonmelanoma skin cancer.

Truth: Basal cell carcinoma is the most

Myth 1: “It’s not that bad.”

Fact: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually. It’s also the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form for young people 15-29 years old.

Myth 2: “Only older people get it.”

Fact: Skin cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers among young adults ages 18-39. In fact, Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form for young people 15-29 years old.

Myth 3: “The sun only causes melanoma.”

Fact: Although melanoma is more deadly, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are far more common and also caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and indoor tanning devices. It is estimated that BCC will afflict approximately 4 million Americans this year, while SCC will affect approximately 1 million Americans. Just like melanoma, both can be disfiguring and costly to treat.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common type of skin cancer. It usually begins as a firm, red nodule and is often only detected when diagnosed by a physician. Basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, is found more often because it forms small, shiny bumps on the skin that are easy to notice. However, SCC can be much more dangerous than basal cell carcinoma if left undetected.

The risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma are similar to those for basal cell carcinoma:

• A history of sunburns

• An abundance of moles or freckles

• Light colored hair and eyes

• Fair skin that freckles or burns easily

• Excessive sun exposure or tanning bed use

While some people may be more susceptible to SCC than others, it’s important to remember that this form of cancer can affect anyone. In fact, despite being less common than basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma kills more Americans each year than all other forms of skin cancer combined. Protecting yourself from harmful UV rays is one of the best ways to prevent SCC and other forms of skin cancer..


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