How does the incidence of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) vary by age?

Updated: Mar 02, 2020
  • Author: Robert S Bader, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

The likelihood of developing BCC increases with age. Data indicate that BCC incidence is far higher (more than 100-fold) in persons aged 55-70 years than in those aged 20 years and younger. Patients 50-80 years of age are affected most often. The median age at diagnosis is 67 years and the mean age is 64 years.

Nevertheless, BCC can develop in teenagers and now appears frequently in fair-skinned patients aged 30-50 years. Approximately  5% to 15% of cases of BCC occur in patients aged 20- 40 years. Aggressive-growth types of BCC are more frequently noted in patients younger than 35 years than in older individuals.

Zhang et al reported an inverse association between body mass index (BMI) and onset of BCC before age 40 years. The multivariate odds ratio for early-onset BCC in obese versus normal individuals was 0.43 for adult BMI and 0.54 for BMI at age 18. [46]


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