Skin Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Spain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2016 May;107(4):318-28. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2016 Feb 4.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction and objectives: The aim of this systematic review was to describe the incidence and mortality of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and Merkel cell carcinoma in Spain.

Material and methods: We performed a search of the MEDLINE and Embase databases and reviewed articles from the Spanish Network of Cancer Registries (REDECAN) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The methodological quality of the studies was evaluated and statistical heterogeneity was measured using the I(2) index. A random-effects model was used to perform the meta-analysis because of the heterogeneity of the data.

Results: Thirty-two papers were included in the systematic review. The crude incidence rate for basal cell carcinoma was 113.05 (95% CI, 89.03-137.08) cases per 100 000 person-years for the studies based on the registration methodology normally used by registries (in which only 1 tumor with histological confirmation is counted per person). However, the same incidence rate calculated on the basis of clinical and histologic criteria and counting tumors rather than individual patients was 253.23 (95% CI, 273.01-269.45) cases per 100 000 person-years. The incidence was 38.16 (95% CI, 31.72-39.97) cases per 100 000 person-years for squamous cell carcinoma, 8.76 (95% CI, 7.50-10.02) cases per 100 000 person-years for melanoma, and 0.28 (95% CI, 0.15-0.40) cases per 100 000 person-years for Merkel cell carcinoma.

Conclusions: The registration methodology normally used by cancer registries probably underestimates the incidence rates of basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma in Spain. The incidence rates of cutaneous melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma are lower in Spain than in other European countries.

Keywords: Basal cell carcinoma; Carcinoma de células basales; Carcinoma de células de Merkel; Carcinoma de células escamosas; Epidemiology; Epidemiología; Incidence; Incidencia; Merkel cell carcinoma; Meta-analysis; Metaanálisis; Mortalidad; Mortality; Review; Revisión; Squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Melanoma / epidemiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / mortality
  • Spain / epidemiology