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October 28, 2020

Underestimation of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Incidence, Even in Cancer Registries

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Services Research, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  • 2Department of Dermatology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
JAMA Dermatol. 2020;156(12):1290-1291. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2020.3678

Despite cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) being the second most common skin cancer,1 our knowledge of the epidemiologic characteristics of cSCC is suboptimal. Dermatologists see patients with cSCC regularly in clinic, but we do not have high-quality information on the basic cancer statistics that are the bread and butter of oncology research and clinical care. For example, the publicly accessible Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Cancer Statistics Review2 contains 30 tables and 7 figures on incidence and mortality for lung cancer in the United States, with age and sex breakdowns, going back to 1975. However, cSCC is nowhere to be found. In many countries, such as the US, cSCC is not included in cancer registries, which has long been recognized as a barrier to understanding this malignant neoplasm.

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