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What causes spindle cell squamous cell carcinoma?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Spindle cell squamous cell carcinoma develops in the cells that make up the epidermis (your outer layer of skin). Normally, these cells go through a growth cycle in which old cells die and are pushed out by new cells continuously. In spindle cell squamous cell carcinoma, the DNA that controls that growth cycle is damaged, most commonly by UV radiation from the sun. This causes an overgrowth and buildup of cells. These cells then intertwine with collagen in the epidermis and dermis, forming a tumor. Researchers aren't sure why some people develop spindle cell squamous cell carcinoma and others don't, but a major risk factor is sun exposure.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.