Epidemiology of skin cancer.

: The skin is the most common site of malignancy. Due to several mostly unknown factors, the frequency of skin tumors is increasing. Except for malignant melanoma, reliable statistical data on the frequency of skin tumors are scarce. Discussion on the epidemiology of skin tumors may take different aspects and factors into consideration: (1) histogenetic type; (2) race, (3) sex; (4) age, (5) localization; (6) environment. Moreover, precancerous conditions also may play an important role in this context. Epithelial tumors, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are the most frequent tumors of the skin. Figures show a wide range between 40 and over 700 or 5 and 250 respectively per 100 000 inhabitants per year depending on the country or area of report. Malignant melanoma is more frequently seen in Caucasians living in sunny regions (40) than in northern countries or in dark skinned races (4-12 per 100 000 per year), representing 4% of all skin tumors, but being responsible for 79% of skin cancer deaths. Other types of skin tumors like cutaneous lymphoma, Kaposi sarcoma, lipomas, adnexal tumors etc. are either not reported regularly and reliable epidemiologic data is not available, or are rare cutaneous tumors (taken all together < 1%).

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