Epidemiological data on a very common skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), are lacking in the UK. Rates of SCC of the skin worldwide appear to be increasing (1–3) but accurate data in many countries are lacking due to incomplete cancer registration. The problems encountered include multiple cancer diagnoses, duplicate reports, reporting delays, misclassification of race/ethnicity, and pitfalls in estimations of cancer incidence rates (4). Common practices in the UK include only registering the first case of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in an individual patient, with non-inclusion of subsequent tumours and nondifferentiation of multiple tumours. Cancer registry data from all home countries in the UK for 2011 showed there were 102,628 cases of NMSC registered: 57,800 (56%) in men and 44,828 (44%) in women, giving a male:female ratio of around 1.3:1. The majority of NMSCs are either basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) or SCCs. We have shown previously (5) that BCC cancer registry data represent a 2.0–2.2 fold underestimate of real incidence rates in the UK, due to the registration practices mentioned. The aim of this work was to estimate the number of SCCs of the skin requiring surgical treatment in this region, and in the UK each year, and to compare these data with those collected by our cancer registries.
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© 2016 The Authors.