Skin Cancer: Basal and Squamous Cell Overview

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What Is Skin Cancer - Basal and Squamous Cell? TOPICS

How many people get basal and squamous cell skin cancer?

Cancer of the skin (including melanoma and basal and squamous cell skin cancers) is the most common of all cancers. The exact number of basal and squamous cell cancers is not known for certain, so the numbers given here are estimates.

About 3.5 million basal and squamous cell skin cancers are found each year (in about 2.2 million Americans, because some people have more than one). About 8 out of 10 of these are basal cell cancers. Squamous cell cancer is less common.

People rarely die of these cancers. It is thought that about 2,000 people die of non-melanoma skin cancer each year in the United States; this rate has been dropping in recent years. Most people who die are older and may not have seen a doctor until the cancer had already grown quite large. Other people more likely to die of skin cancer are those with immune systems that are not working well (such as people who have had organ transplants).

Last Medical Review: 02/24/2014
Last Revised: 02/24/2014