No end in sight: the skin cancer epidemic continues

Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2011 Mar;30(1):3-5. doi: 10.1016/j.sder.2011.01.002.


The incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) continues to increase. Multiple reports from the United States and Europe suggest we are in the midst of an epidemic. European studies show substantial NMSC incidence increases during the last 2 decades. In the United States, a recent analysis of Medicare Claims data showed that procedures performed for NMSC nearly doubled from 1994 to 2006. From these data, the total number of new NMSC in 2006 was estimated to be 3,507,693. Procedure data for 2006-2008 from the 5% Medicare Claims sample dataset corroborate the reported trajectory of incidence increase. Destructions, excisions, and Mohs procedures for NMSC have increased by 2.6% per year during the last 2 years. On the basis of this current rate of increase, the annual incidence of NMSC in the United States in 2008 would be nearly 3.69 million. Recognizing the NMSC epidemic is critical as the incidence-and cost-will continue to increase.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology*
  • Epidemics
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Medicare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology