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Risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma, a study by the National Dermatology Centre of Colombia.

INTRODUCTION: Nonmelanoma skin cancer is the most common malignancy in white individuals. The risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma, which belongs to the family of nonmelanoma skin cancers, have not been studied in Colombia.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma in patients at a national referral center for skin diseases in Colombia.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We conducted a case-control study that evaluated sociodemographic, epidemiological, and clinical factors among 332 individuals. Risk was calculated as odds ratio (ORs) using the multivariate conditional logistic regression analysis method.

RESULTS: The following risk factors were identified: family history of skin cancer (OR, 6.55; 95% CI, 1.4-28.9), living in a rural area after the age of 30 years (OR, 3.13; 95% CI, 1.3-7.2), a lifetime working outdoors (OR, 2.98; 95% CI, 1.5-5.7), smoking more than 10 cigarettes a day (OR, 2.96; 95% CI, 1.3-6.5), actinic conjunctivitis (OR, 2.68; 95% CI, 1.2-5.9), poikiloderma of Civatte (OR, 3.29; 95% CI, 1.7-6.1), numerous facial actinic keratoses (OR, 9.23; 95% CI, 4.9-17.1), and numerous freckles (OR, 3.68; 95% CI, 1.3-10.1).

CONCLUSIONS: We have documented clinical characteristics and personal history factors that should guide the physician in making decisions on the preventive and follow-up measures to be adopted for individuals at risk of squamous cell carcinoma. These findings may help guide policy for controlling the disease using local information.

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