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Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma: Estimated incidence of disease, nodal metastasis, and deaths from disease in the United States, 2012

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaad.2012.11.037
  • Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Death
  • Incidence
  • Nodal Metastasis
  • Medicine


Background It is estimated that over 700,000 new cases of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) are diagnosed annually in the United States. However, CSCC has been excluded from national cancer registries. Thus the precise incidence of CSCC, along with metastases and deaths resulting from it, is unknown. Objective We sought to estimate the 2012 incidence of invasive (non-in situ) CSCC and the number of nodal metastases and deaths arising from it in the US white population. Methods US studies reporting incidence of CSCC, or the number of nodal metastases or deaths arising from it, were reviewed. Linear regression was used to estimate current CSCC incidence based on available incidence data adjusting for higher reported incidences in southern versus northern/central United States. Reported risks of nodal metastases and death from CSCC were averaged. Averages were used to estimate current metastasis and death rates based on incidence estimates. The number of estimated CSCC deaths was compared against deaths from other cancers. Results It is estimated that 186,157 to 419,543 whites were given a diagnosis of CSCC, 5604 to 12,572 developed nodal metastasis, and 3932 to 8791 died from CSCC in the United States in 2012. Limitations The estimates of the 2012 incidence, nodal metastasis, and death from invasive CSCC are based on previous estimates of incidence and outcomes of CSCC. Conclusion CSCC is an underrecognized health issue. In the central and southern United States, deaths from CSCC may be as common as deaths from renal and oropharyngeal carcinomas, and melanoma. Population-based studies reporting CSCC incidence and outcomes are required to verify these estimates.

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