Smokers At Higher Risk of Skin Cancer

Two and a Half Times Higher

An Australian study indicated smokers were at a 250% higher risk of developing the skin cancer Squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) than non smokers.

This is the strongest evidence yet of a link between smoking and a very common form of skin cancer.

The research found the risk was particularly strong for people who were current smokers, as opposed to people who had quit or never taken up the habit.

The study also found that among the smokers and former smokers, their risk of skin cancer wasn't affected by how long they'd smoked for or how heavily they'd smoked.

In contrast, no evidence was found that smokers had higher risks of basal cell carcinomas (BCC) than non-smokers.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Skin Cancer

Squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) are not as lethal as melanomas, but are much more common and they're still quite serious cancers of the skin. They can burrow into the skin and cause quite a degree of disfigurement and pain.

About the Study

In Australia's largest and longest running skin cancer study, a QLD study involving nearly 19,000 people.

The study involved Caucasian Australians (between 40 to 70) who had never been diagnosed with a skin cancer, they were tracked to see how many common skin cancers the group developed over three years.

It started in 2010 and will continue for another five years, aiming to better understand the genetic relationships between the risk factors in the environment and what it is about a person's own susceptibility that increases the likelihood of developing skin cancer.

It is not understood how smoking might increase the risk of squamous cell carcinoma, but these findings strongly suggest that by quitting, smokers are lowering their risk to the same level as someone who has never smoked. Another good reason to quit.