Cochrane Summaries

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Interventions for preventing of non-melanoma skin cancers in high-risk groups

Bath-Hextall FJ, Leonardi-Bee J, Somchand N, Webster AC, Delitt J, Perkins W
Published Online: 
8 October 2008

Non-melanoma skin cancer is still the most common cancer in the UK, the United States and Australia. People at increased risk of getting non-melanoma skin cancer include those with lowered immunity, a history of non-melanoma skin cancer, rare inherited genetic skin disorders, trauma to the skin, exposure to arsenic, albinism or having had psoralen and ultraviolet A treatment. Very few studies have been conducted in people at increased risk of NMSC.

For people with Xeroderma pigmentosum (a rare inherited genetic skin disorder) topical application of T4N5 liposome lotion is beneficial in reducing the rate of appearance of new basal cell carcinomas, however it may increase the risk of a new squamous cell carcinoma. Acitretin in renal transplant recipients may be of some benefit, however, high doses of acitretin are associated with an increased number of adverse events. Retinol or a reduced fat diet may be worth trying for people with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer. Further prevention studies for people at increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer are needed.