Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Skin Cancers
Basal and squamous cell skin cancers, collectively known as nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC), are the most common skin cancers. More than 1 million cases of NMSC are estimated to be diagnosed each year in the United States, and the incidence is rising rapidly. Although rarely metastatic, basal and squamous cell cancers can produce substantial local destruction, along with disfigurement. They are associated with substantial annual costs for treatment, despite their general good prognosis. The most significant environmental carcinogen for NMSC is sunlight. Most of these tumors develop on sun-exposed skin sites, commonly on the head and neck area. Important updates for 2010 include revision of the guidelines detailing dissection and treatment of squamous cell carcinoma on the head and neck.