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Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Skin, Genetic Testing

Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is a common type of cancer arising from squamous cells. It is often caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Treatment includes surgical removal of the tumor, radiation therapy, and, in some cases, chemotherapy. The assessment of the Polygenic Risk Score for squamous cell carcinoma is based on examining 18 gene polymorphisms.

Genetic testing for squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is included along with 12 other diseases in the Genetic Screening for Sensory Organs and Skin Diseases, Polygenic Risk Score, as well as in the Genetic Screening for Neoplasms and Precancerous Malformations, Polygenic Risk Score, along with 19 other diseases.

Causes and non-genetic risk factors

Most squamous cell carcinomas result from prolonged exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning lamps. This UV radiation can alter DNA and turn a normal cell into a cancerous one.

Factors that can increase the risk are:

  • Fair skin. Although anyone can develop this type of cancer, having less skin melanin provides less protection against the harmful effects of UV rays
  • Excessive sun exposure. Spending too much time in the sun without adequate protection significantly increases the risk
  • Use of self-tanning booths
  • History of sunburn
  • Personal history of precancerous lesions or skin cancer
  • Weakened immune systems, such as people with leukemia or undergoing treatment with immunosuppressants
  • Smoking
  • Suffering from specific pathologies such as xeroderma pigmentosum

Squamous cell carcinoma can occur anywhere on the body, although it is much more common in sun-exposed areas such as the scalp, ears or face. Signs and symptoms include:

  • A red nodule or spot that is rough and scaly
  • Open sores that do not heal or that heal and come back
  • Raised area on an old scar or ulcer

They may also present as a flat area that shows slight changes compared to normal skin.


Most skin carcinomas can be prevented. To do so, it is recommended to:

  • Avoid sun exposure in the central hours of the day, when UV rays are strongest
  • Use broad-spectrum sunscreen all year round, even on cloudy days
  • Wear sun protection clothing when sun exposure is unavoidable
  • Avoid self-tanning tanning beds
  • Check your skin regularly for dermatological check-ups to examine moles, freckles, etc
  • Do not smoke
Additional information
Results Time4 - 5 Weeks
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