Women who have non-melanoma skin cancers are more likely to have smoked cigarettes as compared to women without skin cancer, a new study has claimed.
Researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., investigated the relationship between cigarette smoking and non-melanoma skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC).
Smoking histories were assessed and compared between patients diagnosed with either BCC or SCC, or both, and a group of controls comprised of patients who were screened for skin cancers, but who were not diagnosed with and had no history of skin cancer.
The study’s 698 participants were recruited through Moffitt’s Lifetime Screening and Prevention Center and the University of South Florida’s Dermatology and Family Medicine Clinics.
The participants were asked about their smoking behaviours in terms of years smoked, how many cigarettes per day they smoked, and when those who once smoked quit smoking. The results were stratified by sex.
The results showed that cigarette smoking was associated with non-melanoma skin cancer overall, and that the risk increased with numbers of cigarettes per day, total years of smoking, and pack-years smoked.
Associations were particularly strong for SCC, with SCC being more than two times as likely in those who have smoked for 20 or more years compared to controls.
“Among men, positive associations with smoking of equal magnitude were observed for BCC and SCC, although none of the associations were statistically significant,” Dana E. Rollison, the lead author of the study, said.
“However, among women, smoking was not associated with BCC, while highly statistically significant associations were observed with SCC. Women with SCC were almost four times more likely than controls to have smoked for 20 or more years,” she said.
The researchers concluded that cigarette smoking was associated with non-melanoma skin cancer, and the risk increased with increasing dose (cigarettes per day) and number of years smoked.
The study has been recently published in Cancer Causes Control.