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The cure rates for non melanoma skin cancers are very high.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).

It might help to talk about things. You can talk to the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Skin cancer statistics

There are no UK statistics available for survival of people with non melanoma skin cancer. But the outlook is generally very good.

Basal cell skin cancer

Doctors can almost always cure basal cell skin cancers. It is extremely rare for basal cell cancer to spread to another area of the body. So people almost never die from this type of cancer.

In a small number of people the cancer can come back in the skin and they need further treatment.

Squamous cell skin cancer

Doctors can cure most people with squamous cell skin cancer.

A small number of people might have squamous cell cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes or to other parts of the body. This may still be cured.

What affects your outlook

Your outcome depends on the size of the skin cancer and how deep it is. It also depends on where it is growing on the body and how fast it is growing.

If your immune system is weakened, due to other medical reasons, there is a slightly higher risk of it coming back.

Your doctor is the best person for you to talk to about your personal prognosis.

Last reviewed: 
24 Jul 2017
  • Cancer and its management (7th edition)
    J Tobias and D Hochhauser
    Blackwell, 2015

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