Deep Bench: Survey reveals limited awareness about life-threatening skin cancer

Published: Jul. 29, 2019 at 5:00 PM CDT
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During the summer months, protecting our skin from the sun should be top of mind. While being mindful of protection is critical, the reality is that one million cases of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) are expected to be diagnosed in 2019 alone.

Yet, according to a new survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of The Skin Cancer Foundation, an alarming 74% of Americans are not familiar with CSCC, which is the second most common type of cancer in the U.S. and more prevalent than lung, breast and prostate cancers combined.

Although CSCC is far more common and may cause more deaths than melanoma,1 nearly half of Americans (42%) have never even heard of it.

The vast majority of people with CSCC have a good prognosis when it is discovered early, but CSCC can be especially difficult to treat when it advances, and most people (72%) do not understand that it can then be life-threatening.

On Monday, Dr. Ariel Ostad, board-certified medical and cosmetic dermatologist, discussed the findings of the survey, including what CSCC is and why raising awareness of advanced skin cancer is so important. Joining him was Ron Maniloff, a patient who has been fighting advanced CSCC. Maniloff shared his personal experience with a dangerous case of this poorly known type of skin cancer.