Thursday, March 18, 2010 (Last Updated: 03/19/2010)
THURSDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers in the United States has increased dramatically since 1992, and prevalence of a history of skin cancer is much higher than that of other cancers, according to two studies in the March issue of the Archives of Dermatology.
Howard W. Rogers, M.D., from Advanced Dermatology in Norwich, Conn., and colleagues used various government datasets to estimate the 2006 incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer in the United States. They found that the number of procedures for skin cancer in the Medicare fee-for-service population increased by 76.9 percent from 1992 to 2006. They estimated that there were 3,507,693 non-melanoma skin cancers in the United States in 2006 and that 2,152,500 patients were treated for non-melanoma skin cancer that year. The authors describe skin cancer as an "underrecognized epidemic" in the United States.
Robert S. Stern, M.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, developed an incidence-based mathematical model using data from several national databases to estimate the 2007 prevalence of non-melanoma skin cancers in the United States. He estimated that about 13 million non-Hispanic whites living in the United States at the beginning of 2007 had a history of at least one non-melanoma skin cancer, substantially higher than the 5 million people who reported a history of skin cancer in the 2007 National Health Interview Survey estimates.
"My incidence-based model indicates that the prevalence of a skin cancer history is about five times higher than that of breast or prostate cancer and greater than the 31-year prevalence of all other cancers combined," Stern concludes.
Several authors of the first study reported financial relationships with pharmaceutical and medical device companies.
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