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Skin cancer: non-melanoma 

Skin cancer: non-melanoma
Skin cancer: non-melanoma

Diona L. Damian

, Richard A. Scolyer

, Graham Stevens

, Alexander Guminski

, and John F. Thompson



Further rise in incidence and economic cost of NMSC in Western countries.

Updated classification of BCC into high and low risk.

Hedgehog Pathway Inhibitors have established a role as systemic treatment for inoperable or metastatic BCC.

Anti-PD1 immunotherapy has demonstrated efficacy in inoperable and metastatic SCC.

Merkel Cell carcinomas appear to have either a viral or UV damage aetiology.

Checkpoint Inhibitors (Anti-PD1 or anti-PD-L1) are preferred treatment for metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinomas.

Oral Nicotinamide significantly reduces the incidence of NMSC in high risk, heavily sun-damaged individuals.

Updated on 29 March 2019. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 08 July 2020

Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is the most common malignancy in fair-skinned populations. In Australia, NMSC is four times as common as all other cancers combined, with an incidence of ~1000 per 100 000 person-years. The incidence of NMSC has been gradually rising among Caucasian/white populations over the last few decades. The vast majority of NMSCs are basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), which rarely metastasize, or squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), which do have metastatic potential, especially in immune-suppressed individuals. Because of their high frequency in the general population, and particularly in older people, NMSCs are likely to occur in many general oncology patients. Skin cancer risk can be additionally increased in oncology patients as a result of disease-induced immune suppression (e.g., non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) or by a range of cancer treatments including iatrogenic immune suppression, radiation therapy arsenic, and BRAF inhibitors (if not given with a MEK inhibitor). In this chapter the aetiology, pathology, prognosis, and management of NMSCs are discussed.

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