MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) — From 2012 to 2014, 41,185 patients with a diagnosis of skin malignancy of the head and neck region were identified, mostly with a diagnosis of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC), according to a study recently published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery.

Sabine A. Egeler, M.D., from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues analyzed the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Inpatient Sample Database for 2012 to 2014 for adults diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer or NMSC of the head and neck region.

The researchers identified 41,185 patients with a diagnosis of skin malignancy; 13.3 percent of these underwent reconstruction. Ninety percent of the patients were white and most were male (71.6 percent) and had a diagnosis of NMSC (79.2 percent). There was an increase in flap reconstruction. The highest incidence of skin malignancy was seen in the Northeast after population adjustment.

“There is an increasing trend in inpatient NMSC and melanoma skin cancer of the head and neck region, correlating to an increase in reconstructive procedures performed in the inpatient setting and greater cost burden,” the authors write. “Resources should be allocated toward early identification and treatment for skin cancer to help stymie the current increase in complex skin cancer cases necessitating inpatient admission.”

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