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When detected and treated early, common forms of nonmelanoma skin cancer can have a survival rate higher than 95 percent. This is because in many cases of basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, the cancer can be completely removed with the initial biopsy procedure alone. Some cases, however, do call for further treatment. The survival rate does decrease for later-stage skin cancers, when the cancer has metastasized, or spread, to the lymph nodes or other areas of the body.

It’s important to understand that for any type of skin cancer, the survival rate should be interpreted with caution and not be used as a predictive outlook for one particular case. That’s because cancer survival rates:

  • Are based on observed trends in data that has been collected from thousands of people, without accounting for differences in patients’ ages, general health and other factors that could affect outcomes
  • Don’t take cause of death into account, which means they include those who have died from natural causes, unrelated medical conditions and other circumstances aside from cancer
  • Are calculated at five-year intervals (i.e., patients who have survived for five, 10 or 15 years after diagnosis), which doesn’t accurately account for the latest advancements in treatment

Moffitt Cancer Center is designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute due to our extensive research efforts and robust clinical trials. Our groundbreaking research, multispecialty skin cancer team and individualized treatment plans all play a part in Moffitt having survival rates that exceed national averages and offering our patients a higher quality of life.

If you have questions about the survival rate of nonmelanoma skin cancer or would like to schedule an appointment, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete an online new patient registration form. No referral is necessary to meet with our oncologists specializing in skin cancer.