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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 63, n° 3
pages 404-411 (septembre 2010)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2009.09.044
accepted : 26 September 2009
Original Articles

Factors associated with large cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas

Cristina Renzi, MD, MSc a, , Simona Mastroeni, MSc a, Francesca Passarelli, MD b, Thomas J. Mannooranparampil, MD a, Alessio Caggiati, MD, PhD c, Clemente Potenza, MD c, Paolo Pasquini, MD, MPH a
a Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata, Rome, Italy 
b Pathology Department, Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata, Rome, Italy 
c Department of Plastic Surgery, Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata, Rome, Italy 

Correspondence to: Cristina Renzi, MD, MSc, Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata, Via Monti di Creta, 104, 00167 Rome, Italy.

Large cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is associated with a higher risk of disfigurement, local recurrence, and metastasis; however, little is known about factors associated with tumor size at diagnosis.


We sought to evaluate factors associated with SCC size, including diagnostic/treatment delay and patient and tumor characteristics.


We studied a stratified sample of 308 patients with SCC recently treated at a dermatologic referral center in Italy. Medical records were reviewed and telephone interviews conducted. Multiple logistic regression was used to examine factors associated with SCC size.


With univariate analyses, among both invasive and in situ cases, SCC greater than 2cm was significantly associated with male gender, tumors arising in chronic lesions, and tumors located on not easily visible sites. Long delay before surgical removal was significantly associated with large SCC size only for invasive SCC (P < .001). Among patients with invasive SCC, when controlling for age and gender, multivariate analysis showed a significantly higher likelihood of SCC greater than 2cm with a total delay longer than 18 months before surgical removal (odds ratio=4.18; 95% confidence interval 2.45-7.13) and for tumors arising in chronic lesions (odds ratio=6.42; 95% confidence interval 3.13-13.2).


The study was cross-sectional and based on a single center.


Long total delay in removal significantly increased the likelihood of invasive SCC greater than 2cm. Our findings highlight the importance of early detection and treatment to prevent large invasive SCCs, which are associated with a higher risk of disfigurement, recurrence, and metastasis. Particular attention should be paid to chronic skin lesions and not easily visible body sites during physician- and patient-performed examinations.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Key words : cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, delay, lesion size, skin cancer

Abbreviations used : CI, OR, SCC

 Supported by the Italian Ministry of Health.
 Conflicts of interest: None declared.
 Reprints not available from the authors.

© 2009  American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.@@#104156@@
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