Skin cancer in Geraldton, Western Australia: a survey of incidence and prevalence

Med J Aust. 1990 Apr 16;152(8):399-407. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.1990.tb125266.x.


A survey of the incidence and prevalence of non-melanocytic skin cancer in Geraldton, Western Australia, was undertaken in November 1987. All residents aged 40 to 64 years whose names were on the electoral roll on August 1, 1987 were invited to undergo a whole-body skin examination by a dermatologist. When a skin cancer was suspected, participants were referred for treatment to their usual medical practitioner. Subjects were asked to recall incident skin cancers over the preceding two years, and medical records were searched for confirmatory evidence. Histological confirmation of all lesions, both prevalent and incident, was sought and sections were obtained for a standardized review. The prevalence of confirmed non-melanocytic skin cancer in those aged 40 to 64 years was 7.0% in men and 4.7% in women. The prevalence of basal-cell carcinoma (BCC) was 6.5% in men and 4.5% in women while the prevalence of squamous-cell carcinoma (SCC) was 1.2% in men and 0.3% in women. The estimated incidence rate of non-melanocytic skin cancer in this age group was 1560 per 100,000 person-years. The estimated incidence rate of BCC in men was 1335 per 100,000 person-years, and in women 817 per 100,000, while in men the estimated incidence rate of SCC was 890 per 100,000 person-years, and in women it was 289 per 100,000 person-years.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Arm
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Facial Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Facial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Facial Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / surgery
  • Observer Variation
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / surgery
  • Western Australia / epidemiology