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Squamous cell carcinoma, or SCC, is the second most common type of skin cancer. It’s estimated that there are more than one million new cases of SCC diagnosed each year in the United States. The number of SCC diagnoses has been increasing for many years, likely from a combination of better skin cancer detection, people getting more sun exposure, and people living longer.

Death from SCC is uncommon, but thousands of people in the United States die each year from non-melanoma cancer. Most people who die from these cancers are elderly and may not have sought care from a provider until the cancer had grown quite large. People with a suppressed immune system are also more likely to die from SCC.

It’s important to note that these numbers are merely estimates. Exact statistics for non-melanoma cancers are difficult to determine because, unlike most other cancers, SCC and basal cell cancers are not reported to and tracked by cancer registries.