Non-melanoma skin cancer

This section provides statistics on non-melanoma skin cancer deaths in New Zealand.  You can download a factsheet from the Downloads box.

Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) refers to all types of skin cancer that are not melanoma. There are two main types of non-melanoma skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

There is strong evidence that excessive UV exposure is a risk factor for these types of skin cancer [1].  Although both BCC and SCC are common, BCC is rarely fatal [2]. 

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157 New Zealanders died from non-melanoma skin cancer in 2015
Older people had higher mortality rates
Mostly people of European/Other ethnicity affected
Information about the data

157 New Zealanders died from non-melanoma skin cancer in 2015 

In 2015, 157 people died from NMSC in New Zealand.  Males represented two-thirds of these deaths (97 male deaths, compared with 60 female deaths).

Since 2001, the age-standardised rate of NMSC deaths has been relatively stable (Figure 1).  Males had a higher mortality rate than females over this time period.

Figure 1: Non-melanoma skin cancer mortality rate, by sex, 2001–2015 (age-standardised rate per 100,000) 

Older people had higher mortality rates

In 2010–15, the mortality rates for NMSC were much higher in males in older age groups (Figure 2).   

Figure 2: Non-melanoma skin cancer mortality rate, by age group and sex, 2011–15 (crude rate per 100,000) 

Mostly people of European/Other ethnicity affected 

In 2015, almost all NMSC deaths were among people of European/Other ethnicity (153 out of 157 deaths, 97.5%).  

For more information, see the factsheet (in the Downloads box).

Information about the data

Non-melanoma skin cancer deaths

Source: Ministry of Health – New Zealand Mortality Collection.
Definition: Non-melanoma skin cancer is defined as ICD-10 C44. Rates are per 100,000 people, and have been age-standardised to the WHO world standard population.  

The New Zealand Cancer Registry does not require notification of non-melanoma skin cancers. For this reason, an indicator on non-melanoma skin cancer registrations is not possible.


1. WHO. 2010. Solar Ultraviolet Radiation: Assessing the environmental burden of disease at national and local levels. Geneva: World Health Organization.

2. BPAC. 2013. Managing non-melanoma skin cancer in primary care. BPJ 57:4-16. Accessed online (Oct 2017):