Non-melanoma Skin Cancer in Canada Chapter 1: Introduction to the Guidelines
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BACKGROUND: Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), including basal and squamous cell carcinoma, represents the most common malignancy. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this document is to provide guidance to Canadian health care practitioners on NMSC management. METHODS: After conducting a literature review, the group developed recommendations for prevention, management, and treatment of basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and actinic keratoses. These tumour types are considered separately in the accompanying articles. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation system was used to assign strength to each recommendation. RESULTS: This introduction describes the scope and structure of the guidelines and the methods used to develop them. The epidemiology of NMSC is reviewed, as are the pathophysiologic changes occurring with damage to the skin, which lead to the formation of actinic keratoses and invasive squamous or basal cell carcinomas. CONCLUSIONS: This introduction describes the need for primary prevention and offers an overview of treatment options that are discussed in later chapters of the guidelines.
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