Squamous cell carcinoma is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the skin’s upper layers, the epidermis. SCCs look like open sores, warts, scaly red patches, or raised growths featuring a depression. Typically, they crust over or bleed. They can cause disfigurement and even death if left untreated. Over 1 million incidents of squamous cell carcinoma are found annually in the US, and about 8,800 people die from it each year. In the US, the incidence of occurrence has increased by 200 percent in the past three.
1. UV Exposure
SCC is caused by cumulative ultraviolet exposure on the skin over your lifetime. If you are exposed to the sun, daily year-round exposure to its UV light or intense summer exposure puts you at risk. The UV you get from a tanning bed increases the damage that leads up to SCC.