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Why are data for non-melanoma skin cancer sometimes excluded?
Registrations for non-melanoma skin cancer (ICD-10 C44) are likely to be less complete and less accurate than for other cancer sites. Such cancers are relatively common and usually non-fatal. There is a propensity for multiple tumours to occur in one individual and cancer registries adopt different practices in recording these. The tumours are most common in the elderly population and the completeness of registration in the very elderly is likely to be less than for younger patients. Furthermore, increasing numbers of these cancers are diagnosed and treated within GP surgeries and the registration scheme is not confident that all such cases are notified. Because cancer registries across the world have different practices for recording non-melanoma skin cancer (some do not record them at all), the category "all cancers combined" often omits these tumours in the interests of making international comparisons of cancer incidence more valid.