Content » Vol 99, Issue 4

Clinical Report

Modifiable Risk-factors for Keratinocyte Cancers in Australia: A Case-control Study

Lina Maria Serna-Higuita, Simone L. Harrison, Petra Buttner, Margaret Glasby, Beverly A. Raasch, Angelika Iftner, Claus Garbe, Peter Martus, Thomas Iftner
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3107


Keratinocyte cancer is the most common malignancy in Caucasians. The aim of this study was to investigate risk-factors responsible for development of keratinocyte cancer in Australia. A case-control study was conducted, including 112 cases of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), 95 cases of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and 122 controls. Freckling during adolescence (SCC: odds ratio (OR) 1.04, p < 0.01; BCC: OR 1.05, p < 0.01), propensity to sunburn (SCC: OR 2.75, p = 0.01, BCC: OR 2.68 p = 0.01) and high cumulative sun-exposure (SCC: OR 2.43, p = 0.04; BCC: OR 2.36 p = 0.04) were independent risk-factors for both SCC and BCC. This study provides further evidence that a sun-sensitive phenotype and excessive sun-exposure during adulthood contribute to the risk of developing keratinocyte cancer. Wearing a hat, long-sleeved shirts, and sunscreen did not significantly reduce the risk of keratinocyte cancer in this study.


This study examined the complex interplay between environmental and host risk-factors for keratinocyte cancer. The results show that increasing age, lower academic qualifications, freckling during adolescence, solar lentiginous, propensity to sunburn and high-cumulative sun-exposure increase the risk of keratinocyte cancer.

Supplementary content


Not logged in! You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.