Nonmelanoma skin cancer guidelines

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Nonmelanoma skin cancer, including BCC and cSCC, affects more than 3 million Americans a year. These new evidence-based guidelines provide the most current information and recommendations for the surgical and medical treatment, follow-up, and prevention of BCC and cSCC. Review guideline highlights or download the full guidelines below.

 JAAD-icon.png Access the full cSCC skin cancer guideline from JAAD (free access)
Access the full BCC skin cancer guideline from JAAD (free access)

Guideline highlights

  • The guideline recommends the types of biopsies to determine a diagnosis of BCC and cSCC, with the goal of the biopsy to obtain needed clinical information to guide care. 

  • Surgery remains the cornerstone of BCC and cSCC treatment. 

  • Nonsurgical approaches (topicals, radiation, photodynamic therapy) have lower cure rates and should only be considered for low-risk BCC or cSCC if surgery is impractical or contraindicated.

  • As there are limited options to treat metastatic disease, early and complete treatment is important.
  • Patients diagnosed with BCC or cSCC should have annual checks for skin cancer recurrence or other new primary skin cancer(s).  


Patient resources

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Basal cell carcinoma pamphlet

Describes the warning signs of the most common form of skin cancer including the risk factors, treatments and tips to detect and prevent skin cancer

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Squamous cell carcinoma pamphlet

Describes the risk factors, prevention tips, detection steps and treatment options for the second most common form of skin cancer

From Dermatology World

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Setting the standards

Dermatology groups push for physician adherence to guidelines to improve quality, drive value

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On target

New approaches to skin cancer treatment and prevention

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Not quite colorblind

Skin cancer in people of color is less frequent, more often deadly

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Better medicine, better outcomes

Nonmelanoma skin cancer accounts for the largest proportion of cancer cases of any kind in the U.S., and it continues to rise

View the AAD guidelines disclaimer.