Incidence and prevalence of non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia: A systematic review

Eshini Perera, Neiraja Gnaneswaran, Carolyn Staines, Aung Ko Win, Rod Sinclair
Australasian Journal of Dermatology 2015, 56 (4): 258-67
Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), including basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), is the most common cancer occurring in people with fair skin. Australia has been reported to have the highest incidence of NMSC in the world. Using a systematic search of the literature in EMBASE and Medline, we identified 21 studies that investigated the incidence or prevalence of NMSC in Australia. Studies published between 1948 and 2011 were identified and included in the analysis. There were six studies that were conducted on national level, two at state level and 13 at the regional level. Overall, the incidence of NMSC had steadily increased over calendar-years in Australia. The incidence of NMSC per 100,000 person-years was estimated to be 555 in 1985; 977 in 1990; 1109 in 1995; 1170 in 2002 and 2448 in 2011. The incidence was higher for men than women and higher for BCC than SCC. Incidence varied across the states of Australia, with the highest in Queensland. The prevalence of NMSC was estimated to be 2% in Australia in 2002. The incidence and prevalence of NMSC still need to be accurately established at both national and state levels to determine the costs and burden of the disease on the public health system in Australia.

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