A troubling new study reveals the rate of eyelid cancers in the UK is on the rise. The specific kind of cancer studied in this report is known as eyelid squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
Analysts from Moorfields Eye HospitalNational Cancer Registration and Analysis Service looked at data from UK patients between 2000 and 2014. They found that there was a 2 percent increase of eyelid SCC year-on-year. In total, researchers say 4,022 UK residents have been diagnosed with eyelid SCC throughout this time frame.
Men had double the risk of developing SCC than women during their lifetime. This report also found that both men and women doubled their risk of developing SCC every decade after their 60th birthdays.
Researchers don't exactly know why men are more susceptible to SCC, but they have a few theories. Some scientists believe increased estrogen could get help ward off eyelid cancer in women. Others suggest men are less likely to wear adequate UV protection when going outside.
The eyelids are the thinnest layer of skin on the body. It should come as no surprise that they are highly susceptible to skin cancer, especially when people don't apply an adequate layer of sunscreen. Estimates suggest between five to ten percent of all skin cancers are in the eyelid area.
To avoid this common form of skin cancer, dermatologists recommend applying a thin layer of sunscreen to the eyelids and wearing high-quality sunglasses. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes a list of the best sunscreens on the market every year.
James Wawrzynski of Moorfields Eye Hospital was the head author on this research project. A few other prominent doctors involved in this study include Krisztina Emeriewen, Isobel Tudge, and Richard Collin.
People can read this full study in the latest edition of the British Journal of Ophthalmology. This study was published as "Report on the incidence of squamous cell carcinomas affecting the eyelids in England over a 15-year period (2000–2014)."