Q:

Does a history of squamous cell skin cancer mean a poor prognosis in cancer patients?

A:

Quick Answer

A history of squamous cell skin cancer indicates an increased probability of developing other cancers, according to WebMD. Research indicates that people who had previously been diagnosed with squamous cell skin cancer have twice the likelihood of developing other cancers than people who had no history of cancer.

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Full Answer

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of nonmelanoma skin cancer, reports WebMD. This cancer generally develops on the face, hands and other areas of the body frequently exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or artificial sources such as tanning beds. It develops slowly and is easily treated when diagnosed early but unlike other skin cancers can spread to other areas of the body such as bones and lymph nodes.

Squamous cell skin cancer is more likely to be found in fair-skinned persons who are frequently exposed to UV radiation, states WebMD. It can be often be treated with minor outpatient surgery, cryosurgery or topical chemotherapy but may require surgery under general anesthesia if found in the lymph nodes.

In addition to a greater likelihood of developing other cancers, persons with a history of squamous cell skin cancer have a greater risk of death from future cancers, reports the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

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