Study suggests link between smoking, increased risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma

Smoking appears to be associated with an increased risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer, according to a report of a meta-analysis and review of available medical literature published Online First by Archives of Dermatology.

About 97 percent of skin cancers are epithelial (cells that cover the skin) in origin and are either basal (BCCs) or squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), which are collectively known as nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC). The incidence of NMSC is increasing worldwide with an estimated 2 million to 3 million new cases each year, according to the study background.

The review of the relevant medical literature by Jo Leonardi-Bee, Ph.D, of the U.K. Centre for Studies, University of Nottingham, England, and colleagues included 25 studies.

"This systematic review and meta-analysis has shown a clear and consistent relationship between smoking and cutaneous SCC, with a 52 percent significant increase in odds," the authors comment. "However, no clear association was noted between smoking and BCC or NMSC. The largest effect sizes for the association with cutaneous SCC were seen in current or ever smokers, with smaller effect sizes occurring in former smokers."

The authors note the results of their work are generalizable because the studies reported results from 11 countries across four continents and most of the studies were conducted in middle-aged to elderly populations.

"This study highlights the importance for clinicians to actively survey high-risk patients, including current smokers, to identify early skin cancers, since early diagnosis can improve prognosis because early lesions are simpler to treat compared with larger or neglected lesions," the researchers conclude.

More information: Arch Dermatol. Published online June 18, 2012. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2012.1374

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

IBD patients face increased skin cancer risk

Nov 21, 2011

Certain patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may have an increased risk of skin cancer, which is intensified by the use of immunosuppressant medications , according to two new studies in Gastroenterology, the of ...

Recommended for you

Video: Is that double mastectomy really necessary?

Oct 24, 2014

When Angeline Vuong, 27,was diagnosed with cancer in one breast earlier this year, her first reaction was "A DOUBLE MASTECTOMY. NOW. " Turns out, she's far from alone: a recent JAMA study of 190,000 breast cancer cases in ...

User comments