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Declining incidence of eyelid cancers in Singapore over 13 years: population-based data from 1996 to 2008
  1. Vivien Sin Yi Lim,
  2. Shantha Amrith
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, National University Hospital, Singapore, Singapore
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shantha Amrith, Department of Ophthalmology, National University Hospital, 5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119074, Singapore; ophv14{at}


Purpose To describe the epidemiology and trends in eyelid malignancies in Singapore from 1996 to 2008.

Methods The Singapore Cancer Registry has been collecting epidemiological data of all cancers seen in Singapore since 1968. Data of all eyelid cancers from 1996 to 2008 were retrieved for analysis. The age-standardised incidence rates and age-specific incidence rates were calculated with the direct method, using the 2000 world population as a standard.

Results There were a total of 160 male patients (48%) and 173 female patients (52%). The median age at diagnosis was 66 years (range 31–95) for male subjects and 67 years (35–99) for female subjects. The average annual age-standardised incidence rate of all eyelid cancers over the 13 years was 5.0 per million. A significant decrease in rates from 6.6 per million in the 1996–1998 period to 3.9 per million in the 2005–2008 period with an annual percentage change of 3.6% (95% CI −6.5 to 0.7%; p=0.02) was noted for women. The most common cancer was basal cell carcinoma (82%), followed by sebaceous gland carcinoma (11%) and squamous cell carcinoma (4%).

Conclusions The annual age-standardised incidence rates for male and female residents showed a steady decline over the last 13 years. These data suggest that factors related to sun protection have resulted in reduced eyelid cancers over time and provide a basis for such public health programmes elsewhere.

  • Epidemiology
  • Eye Lids
  • Neoplasia

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