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As a group, non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) represent the most commonly diagnosed malignancies in the world. NMSCs are a heterogenous group of malignancies which includes basal cell carcinoma (BCC), cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), and Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). BCC and cSCC are typically cured by surgical excision, but a sizeable number of individuals develop advanced and metastatic disease with extremely poor prognosis. New therapies are leveraging molecular pathways and immune dysfunction to more effectively treat advanced and metastatic disease.

Click on the buttons below to learn more about the presentation, prognosis, pathophysiology, and treatment strategies for Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) and Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma (cSCC).

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) refers to all types of skin cancer with the exception of melanoma. Several types of skin cancer fall within this broad category. The most common types – accounting for over 99% of NMSC cases – are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), with each having several subtypes. Other rare types of NMSC include Kaposi sarcoma, Merkel cell cancer, lymphoma, adnexal tumors, and sarcoma (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Skin Cancer Classification

NMSCs are highly diverse in how they present clinically, as well as in how they arise in the body. These types of cancer generally exert a small but appreciable effect on quality of life (QOL) as well, whether arising from the tumor itself or treatment. Symptoms, cosmetic burden, functional limitations, and ancillary considerations such as cost and disturbance to activities of daily living are all part of clinical management of NMSCs.

As a result of our improved knowledge of the biology of NMSCs, innovative treatment options including immunotherapeutic agents and inhibitors of the Hedgehog pathway have been recently investigated against these cancers, with additional options on the horizon.

We invite you to explore our clinical toolkits on BCC and cSCC for additional information on pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment, along with clinical resources and additional reading.


Abedini R, Nasimi M, Pour P, et al. Quality of Life in Patients with Non-melanoma Skin Cancer: Implications for Healthcare Education Services and Supports. J Cancer Educ. 2019;34(4):755-759.

Cives M, Mannavola F, Lospalluti L, et al. Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers: Biological and Clinical Features. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21(15):5394.

This activity is provided by Med Learning Group.
This activity is supported by an independent medical education grant from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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