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What increases my risk for stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma?

The most significant risk factor for stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma is leaving earlier stages of squamous cell carcinoma untreated. Another big risk factor is excessive sun exposure, especially exposure to a lot of ultraviolet (UV) rays over an entire lifetime. Having fair skin may increase your risk, because lighter skin doesn't have a lot of pigment to protect from the sun. Medical conditions such as certain genetic disorders, chronic skin inflammation, or a weakened immune system may increase your risk for stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma. Age and sex may also come into play because males and older people are much more commonly affected by the disease. Other risk factors may include smoking and a personal or family history of skin cancer.

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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.