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Keratinocyte cancer incidence in Australia: a review of population-based incidence trends and estimates of lifetime risk


Olsen, CM and Pandeya, N and Green, AC and Ragaini, BS and Venn, AJ and Whiteman, DC, Keratinocyte cancer incidence in Australia: a review of population-based incidence trends and estimates of lifetime risk, Public Health Research & Practice, 32, (1) Article e3212203. ISSN 2204-2091 (2022) [Refereed Article]


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© 2022 Olsen et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.17061/phrp3212203


Objectives: To review the most recent population-based estimates of keratinocyte cancer incidence in Australia, to describe the trends over time and to calculate lifetime risk of developing these skin cancers.

Methods: We conducted a literature search of PubMed/MEDLINE from 2001 to August 2021 to identify relevant literature. We defined eligible articles as those reporting population-based studies of adults and excluded studies that reported only on high-risk or paediatric populations, or on incidence of precursor or related lesions. We summarised identified studies qualitatively. We calculated lifetime risk of developing keratinocyte cancer using the methods of Cancer Research UK, adjusting for multiple primaries and the competing risk of death.

Results: We identified six eligible studies. In the absence of compulsory notifications of keratinocyte cancer to state and territory cancer registries in Australia, all estimates of national incidence rates of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) have limitations. The most recent population-based estimates of people annually affected for the period 2011–2014 (BCC: 770/100 000 person years; SCC: 271/100 000 person years) represent the lower end of the possible range of incidence rates nationally. Because many people are affected by multiple lesions, the lesion-based incidence estimates are more than double the person-based rates (BCC: 1565/100 000 person years; SCC: 580/100 000 person years). Analyses of temporal trends in treatment rates (excisions, cryotherapy/curettage) show increases over time, most marked for people aged 55 years or older. We estimate that 69% of Australians will have at least one excision for histologically confirmed keratinocyte cancer in their lifetime (60% to age 79 years).

Conclusion: The available evidence on national incidence rates is out of date and of moderate quality, but indicates very high rates of keratinocyte cancer in Australia. We recommend that population-based cancer registries work towards statutory notification and routine reporting of keratinocyte cancer in Australia.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:keratinocyte carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, incidence
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Public health not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Ragaini, BS (Ms Bruna Silva Ragaini)
UTAS Author:Venn, AJ (Professor Alison Venn)
ID Code:149187
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2022-03-16
Last Modified:2022-09-20
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