What is included in patient education about cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC)?

Updated: Jul 08, 2020
  • Author: Talib Najjar, DMD, MDS, PhD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Patients with precancerous lesions should be counseled to avoid excessive UVR by limiting outdoor activity to early morning and late afternoon, using protective clothing, and wearing a broad-brimmed hat to shade the face, head, and neck. Daily application of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 should also be encouraged. The use of artificial tanning devices should be strongly discouraged because this has been associated with a 2.5-fold increase in the risk of developing cSCC.

Lesions can recur even years after excision, so patients should have routine examinations. In addition, patients should be counseled regarding treatment of areas of chronic skin inflammation or trauma to prevent the future development of cSCC at those sites.

Educating people who live in tropical areas and in regions with a high degree of solar exposure is particularly important.

These measures are also critically important for patients who are immunosuppressed, and they should be an integral part of the educational program for patients who have recently undergone organ transplantation.


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