The researchers assessed the results of 25 studies conducted in 11 countries which included current, ever or former smokers in middle-aged to elderly populations. They analysed the data for NMSC including basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
A clear and consistent relationship between smoking and cutaneous SCC was found with a 52% significant increase in odds. Current and ever smokers were more likely to have larger effect sizes than former smokers. No clear association between smoking and BCC or NMSC was observed.
The clinicians conclude that high-risk patients, including current smokers, should be actively surveyed to identify skin cancers at an earlier stage to improve prognosis and outcomes.
Leonardi-Bee J, Ellison T, Bath-Hextall F. Arch Dermatol 2012; June 18