A new study from Minnesota finds the incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer increasing among men and women under the age of 40.
The overall incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer, consisting of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC), is increasing, according to background information in the article.
This increasing incidence is most likely due to a combination of factors, including increased exposure to UV light, ozone depletion, and increased surveillance.
Long-term exposure to the sun resulting in photodamage is perhaps the biggest risk factor for nonmelanoma skin cancer. In the United States, approximately 800,000 new cases of BCC and 200,000 new cases of SCC were diagnosed in 2000. Nonmelanoma skin cancer generally occurs in persons older than 50 years, and in this age group, its incidence is increasing rapidly. However, little is known about its incidence in persons younger than 40 years.
Leslie J. Christenson, M.D., of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and colleagues conducted a study to estimate the sex- and age-specific incidence of BCC and SCC in Olmsted County, Minnesota, in a young population (less than 40 years old) from the beginning of 1976 through 2003.
The patients in this study have comprehensive medical records captured through the Rochester Epidemiology Project.