At the OSUCCC – James, cancer research experts focus on studying squamous cell carcinoma prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The OSUCCC – James consistently paves the way in learning more about what causes squamous cell carcinoma— leading to even more highly targeted prevention, care and treatment.

Screening for Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Cancer screening exams can help find squamous cell carcinoma at its earliest stage when the chances for successful treatment, optimal outcomes and fewer side effects are greatest. These tests are usually done when a patient is healthy and has no specific symptoms.

Not only are expert cancer researchers at the OSUCCC – James continually working to detect and diagnose squamous cell carcinoma early, but they are also developing additional tests to detect and diagnose cancer even earlier, leading to improved outcomes, faster responses and fewer side effects.

If you carry risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma, you should regularly examine moles and other skin lesions.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Risk Factors

Skin color and being exposed to sunlight can increase the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer and actinic keratosis.

A risk factor is anything that increases your chance of getting a disease. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk. Risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma include the following:

  • Being exposed to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time
  • Having a fair complexion, which includes the following:
    • Fair skin that freckles and burns easily, does not tan or tans poorly
    • Blue or green or other light-colored eyes
    • Red or blond hair
  • Having actinic keratosis
  • Past treatment with radiation
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Having certain changes in the genes that are linked to skin cancer
  • Being exposed to arsenic

Risk factors for actinic keratosis include the following:

  • Being exposed to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time
  • Having a fair complexion, which includes the following:
    • Fair skin that freckles and burns easily, does not tan or tans poorly
    • Blue or green or other light-colored eyes
    • Red or blond hair

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

The presence of risk factors does not necessarily mean you have squamous cell carcinoma. But if you have risk factors, you should discuss them with your doctor.

You can lower your risk for melanoma and other skin cancers by regularly using sunscreen and minimizing exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, sunlamps and tanning beds.


If you have received a squamous cell carcinoma diagnosis, or if you want a second opinion or just want to speak to a squamous cell carcinoma specialist, we are here to help you. Call 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210

800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066

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