The incidence of basal cell carcinoma in the under-30s in the UK

Clin Exp Dermatol. 2012 Apr;37(3):227-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2230.2011.04246.x. Epub 2011 Dec 23.


Background: Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the commonest cancer in many countries, but the current incidence in young people from the UK is unknown.

Aim: To ascertain a recent incidence of BCC in the under-30 population in the UK. Methods. Cancer registry data from part of the Eastern Region of the UK was analysed for two periods: 1981-1989 and 1998-2006. Case notes were examined for a cohort of the patients from 1998 to 2006.

Results: The incidence of BCC increased from 0.73 to 1.79 per 100 000 in those aged < 30 years over the study period. More than half (55%) of BCCs were on the head and neck, and the most common histological subtype was superficial BCC (38%).

Conclusions: The reported incidence of BCC in those aged < 30 years has increased by 145% during this period, corresponding to an average annual increase of 8.53%. This may be partially due to earlier presentation and to increased use of surgical treatments.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Young Adult