Background Considering the latitude of Spain, the reported age-adjusted incidence rates of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in this country, similar to those of Northern Europe, are lower than expected. Objectives To estimate the actual incidence of BCC in a Mediterranean population from the eastern coast of Spain. Methods A registry of BCC cases newly diagnosed between 16 January 2006 and 16 January 2007 was established for the population of residents in the Barcelonès Nord county (369 622 inhabitants). All dermatologists of this area agreed to register their patients. All tumours were registered as 'definite' or 'probable' BCC cases according the existence or not of a proven microscopic diagnosis. If a patient had more than one tumour at different sites, each was counted and registered separately. Sex-specific, age-specific and age-standardized incidence rates were calculated by direct standardization to the World and European Standard Population. Results Among the 936 cases registered, 81·2% were classified as 'definite' BCC and 18·8% as 'probable' BCC. The overall crude incidence rate was 253·2 per 100 000 person-years, and was 128 per 100 000 person-years and 195·5 per 100 000 person-years after standardizing for the World and European population, respectively. After the age of 65 years, the BCC age-adjusted incidence rates showed a significantly higher increase in men than in women (P = 0·01). Conclusions The incidence rates found in our study are higher than those previously reported in Spain. Age-adjusted incidence rates revealed that BCC increases with age in both sexes, this increase being particularly evident in men older than 65 years. © 2009 British Association of Dermatologists.
- Mediterranean region
- Skin cancer