Keratinocyte cancers, formerly known as nonmelanoma skin cancers, are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in Australia. In 2019, Cancer Council Australia published updated guidelines on diagnosis and management of keratinocyte cancers. This summary for GPs incorporates the latest update.
- Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with keratinocyte cancer (formerly termed ‘nonmelanoma skin cancer’) the most common type.
- GPs play a crucial role in the detection and early management of keratinocyte cancers.
- Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) can metastasise; for patients with SCC unsuitable for surgery, treatment options include radiation therapy, chemoradiation, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors and immunotherapy.
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common keratinocyte cancer in Australia; hedgehog pathway inhibitors are a recent treatment option for patients with advanced metastatic BCC.
- Patients with keratinocyte cancers with poor prognostic features or locoregional spread should be referred to a specialist multidisciplinary team for planning and management.