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BACKGROUND: Keratinocyte cancers (KCs) are the most common type of cancer in the White population worldwide, with associated high healthcare costs. Understanding the epidemiological trends for KCs, namely basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), is required to assess burden of disease, project future trends and identify strategies for addressing this pressing global health issue. OBJECTIVES: To report trends in BCC and SCC incidence, and SCC mortality and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). METHODS: An observational study of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) database between 1990 and 2017 was performed. European Union countries and other selected high-income countries, including the UK and the USA, classified as having high-quality mortality data, were included. Annual age-standardized incidence rates (ASIRs), age-standardized death rates (ASDRs) and DALYs for each country were obtained from the GBD database. Trends were described using joinpoint regression analysis. RESULTS: Overall, 33 countries were included. For both BCC and SCC in 2015-2017, the highest ASIRs were observed in the USA and Australia. Males had higher ASIRs than females at the end of the observation period in all countries for SCC, and in all countries but two for BCC. In contrast, the highest ASDRs for SCC were observed in Australia and Latvia for males, and in Romania and Croatia for females. The highest DALYs for SCC for both sexes were seen in Australia and Romania. Over the observation period, there were more countries demonstrating decreasing trends in mortality than in incidence, and disparities were observed between which countries had comparatively high mortality rates and which had high incidence rates. Overall reductions in SCC DALYs were observed in 24 of 33 countries for males, and 25 countries for females. CONCLUSIONS: Over the past 27 years, although trends in SCC incidence have risen in most countries, there is evidence that mortality rates have been decreasing. Burden of disease as assessed using DALYs has decreased in the majority of countries. Future work will explore potential explanatory factors for the observed disparity in trends in SCC incidence and mortality.

Original publication




Journal article


Br j dermatol

Publication Date





237 - 246


Male, Female, Humans, Incidence, Skin Neoplasms, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Carcinoma, Basal Cell, Cost of Illness, Quality-Adjusted Life Years, Global Health