Incidence and prevalence of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and locally advanced BCC (LABCC) in a large commercially insured population in the United States: A retrospective cohort study

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Accurate evaluation of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in the United States was not possible before the 2011 release of BCC-specific International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes.


We sought to describe BCC (including locally advanced BCC [LABCC]) incidence/prevalence and the characteristics of patients in a commercially insured US population.


This retrospective cohort study used Truven Health MarketScan database insurance claims. Patients, aged 18 years or older with 2 or more BCC claims at least 30 days apart from October 1, 2011, to September 30, 2012, were continuously enrolled in medical and pharmacy benefits for 12 months before and after the index claim. A specific algorithm was used to classify patients with LABCC.


A total of 56,987 patients with BCC were identified (39,035 incident cases; 17,952 prevalent cases). Age-adjusted BCC incidence and prevalence were 226.09 and 342.64 per 100,000 persons, respectively. These values project to 542,782 patients (incidence) and 822,593 patients (prevalence) in the 2012 US population. LABCC was uncommon (471 cases identified; projected US incidence and prevalence: 4399 and 7940 patients, respectively).


Use of medical claims data and retrospective analysis are limitations.


In a study designed to distinguish patients with LABCC from the general BCC population based on BCC-specific International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes, 0.8% were found to have LABCC, the majority having pre-existing disease.

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