Purpose: Human papillomavirus' (HPV's) role in skin cancer is controversial. To examine whether an individual is prone to develop a chronic oncogenic infection, we conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study of the risk of skin cancer after another HPV-related neoplasia-that is, cervical high-grade dysplasia or carcinoma-using cervical conization as a surrogate marker.
Methods: Using Danish registries, we identified all women who underwent conization from 1978 to 2011 (n = 87,164) and followed them until first-time skin cancer diagnosis, death, emigration, or 31 December 2011, whichever came first. We calculated standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and malignant melanoma (MM) according to national incidence rates.
Results: The 1-year absolute risks were 0.0012%, 0.045%, and 0.029% for SCC, BCC, and MM, respectively. Conization was clearly associated with increased incidence of SCC (SIR = 1.37; 95% CI: 1.13-1.65), but not MM (SIR = 1.00; 95% CI: 0.91-1.11). BCC risk was slightly increased (SIR = 1.08; 95% CI: 1.02-1.13).
Conclusions: The association between conization and cutaneous SCC provides evidence for conization as a marker of underlying general susceptibility to oncogenic HPV.
Keywords: Cohort studies; Conization; Papillomaviridae; Skin neoplasms.
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