Pattern of Development of Basal versus Squamous Cell Carcinoma

January 2006 | Volume 5 | Issue 1 | Original Article | 40 | Copyright © 2006

Sivan Shemesh BS, James M. Spencer MD, Robert G. Phelps MD

Abstract

Background: Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas both arise in the epidermis of fair-skinned people in response to ultraviolet light, with the overall frequency of basal cell carcinoma being 4 times that of squamous cell carcinoma. Despite the similarities in the population at risk, and the presumed etiology of these tumors, it is unclear if any one individual has a proclivity to develop only one type of tumor. Objective: The study explores whether or not there is a pattern of expression of basal versus squamous cell carcinoma among people with these cancers. Methods: This case-control study involved patients with a total of more than 3 and fewer than 10 basal or squamous cell carcinomas. Patient age and gender, as well as number and location of diagnosed basal and squamous cell carcinomas were gathered and patterns within these values were sought. Results: Patients found to have at least one basal cell carcinoma tended to produce more basal cell carcinomas and patients found to have at least one squamous cell carcinoma tended to produce more squamous cell carcinomas. Conclusion: The study supports the possibility that people who develop basal cell carcinoma are more likely to develop more basal cell carcinomas. Similarly, people who develop squamous cell carcinoma are more likely to develop more squamous cell carcinomas.

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