Article

Changing incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer in New Zealand

Wellington Regional Plastic, Maxillofacial and Burns Unit, Hutt Hospital, Lower Hutt, New Zealand.
ANZ Journal of Surgery (Impact Factor: 1.5). 09/2011; 81(9):633-6. DOI: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.2010.05583.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are the commonest types of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). The incidence of NMSC has been increasing globally with Australia recording a 1.5-fold increase over the last 17 years. The incidence of NMSC in New Zealand is currently unknown. Given that Australia and New Zealand share similar latitude, sun exposure levels, and other risk factors, it is conceivable this increase has also occurred in New Zealand. This study aimed to provide an analysis of the incidence of NMSC within the Central Region of New Zealand based on longitudinal data derived from pathology reports.
This retrospective study examined the pathology records of 26 411 patients who underwent surgical excision for 54 004 NMSC lesions which were histologically confirmed, over a 10-year period from 1 January, 1997 to 1 January, 2007, within the Central Region of New Zealand.
Over the study period, 50 411 primary NMSC lesions were excised. The age-standardized incidence for NMSC, BCC and SCC was 406, 299 and 118 per 100 000, respectively. Since 1999, the annual incidence of BCC and SCC has increased by 4.0% and 1.1%, respectively, with the greatest increases seen in the population over the age of 50 years.
New Zealand has one of the highest incidence of NMSC in the world. The high and increasing incidence of NMSC underscores the importance for the development and implementation of a national health-care delivery model, and a commitment to continued monitoring of the NMSC problem.

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