The incidence of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is increasing worldwide; however, this varies by region. To date, there are limited data about trends of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in Canada.
To determine the demographic and tumor characteristic changes in patients diagnosed with BCC and SCC from 1993 to 2005 in a dermatology practice in Vancouver, British Columbia.
A retrospective chart review was conducted on patients with biopsy-confirmed NMSC between 1993 and 2005. Demographic and tumor characteristics were documented for the first two incident BCCs and SCCs per patient, and a descriptive data analysis was undertaken.
A total of 1,177 NMSCs were identified from 885 patient charts. The number of BCCs increased from 1993 to 2003 and then decreased until 2005. BCCs and SCCs were generally diagnosed in older people (60+ years); however, an important group of younger patients (20-39 years) was also diagnosed with BCCs. BCCs and SCCs were most commonly seen on the head and neck, but the leg was a common location for SCC in women.
NMSC is prevalent in British Columbia. These results highlight the fact that NMSC can affect individuals younger than 40 years old. Prevention strategies are warranted to reduce the burden of NMSC in British Columbia.