Skin cancer has been on the rise at an astonishing rate in the United States of America over the past 5 decades.
Specifically, these statistics relate to nonmelanoma skin cancers such as Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma among other less common skin cancers. Melanoma skin cancers are not a part of these statistics as they are a reportable condition. For all skin cancers that don’t get reported, estimates have been made based on billing records in most studies.
Because it is more difficult to estimate the total number of US nonmelanoma skin cancers, studies are done less frequently. We’ve compiled the last four major studies based on a scientific journal search on pubmed.gov.
The first publication evaluated skin cancer rates in 1978.
“Currently between 400,000 and 500,000 individuals develop new basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas of the skin each year in the United States.” (1978)
– Scotto, J., T. R. Fears, and J. F. Fraumeni. 1983. Incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer in the United States. NIH Pub. no. 83-2433. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.
Then in a short period of time (16 years) skin cancer rates doubled.
“The projected 1994 incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer in the United States is 900,000 to 1,200,000 cases, similar in magnitude to the overall incidence of noncutaneous cancers.”
– J Am Acad Dermatol. 1994 May;30(5 Pt 1):774-8.
Nonmelanoma skin cancer in the United States: incidence.
Miller DL1, Weinstock MA.
The spike in skin cancer rates continued over the next decade.
“From these data, the total number of new NMSC in 2006 was estimated to be 3,507,693.”
– Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2011 Mar;30(1):3-5. doi: 10.1016/j.sder.2011.01.002.
No end in sight: the skin cancer epidemic continues.
Donaldson MR1, Coldiron BM.
The last major publication of skin cancer rates in the US (in 2012) estimated that there were a staggering 5.4 million new cases each year.
“We estimate the total number of NMSCs in the US population in 2012 at 5,434,193 and the total number of persons in the United States treated for NMSC at 3,315,554.”
– JAMA Dermatol. 2015 Oct;151(10):1081-6. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.1187.
Incidence Estimate of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer (Keratinocyte Carcinomas) in the U.S. Population, 2012.
Rogers HW1, Weinstock MA2, Feldman SR3, Coldiron BM4.