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Ann Dermatol. 2016 Apr;28(2):172-8. doi: 10.5021/ad.2016.28.2.172. Epub 2016 Mar 31.

Clinical Features of Cutaneous Premalignant Lesions in Busan City and the Eastern Gyeongnam Province, Korea: A Retrospective Review of 1,292 Cases over 19 Years (1995~2013).

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Department of Dermatology, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.



The global prevalence of premalignant lesions has been continuously increasing in recent years, but there has been little research regarding the distribution and incidence of cutaneous premalignant lesions in Korean populations.


We conducted this retrospective study to analyze recent trends in the incidence and clinical patterns of cutaneous premalignant lesions in the Korean population.


We reviewed 1,292 cases (3,651 lesions) of patients with cutaneous premalignant lesions, including actinic keratosis (AK) and Bowen's disease (BD), from the Department of Dermatology at Dong-A University Hospital (January 1995 to December 2013).


The average cutaneous premalignant lesion annual incidence was 1.82%, and the incidence continuously increased from 0.70% to 4.25% over the study period. The most common cutaneous premalignant lesion was AK (75.85%), followed by BD (24.15%). The mean age of onset was 68.76 years (men, 70.89 years; women, 65.56 years), and the male:female ratio of patients was 1:1.52. Major skin cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma (SCC, 8.90%), basal cell carcinoma (BCC, 6.42%), and malignant melanoma (MM, 0.70%), were detected in 15.79% of patients with cutaneous premalignant lesions. Three patients (0.23%) were previously diagnosed with both SCC and BCC. In addition, 59.13% of patients had a single lesion, while 40.87% had multiple lesions. Patient age, history of previous skin cancers, and occupation-related exposure to ultraviolet radiation were more common in patients with multiple lesions.


Cutaneous premalignant lesion incidence has gradually increased in the Korean population.


Actinic keratosis; Bowen's disease; Incidence; Korea; Precancerous conditions

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