gms | German Medical Science

Kongress Medizin und Gesellschaft 2007

17. bis 21.09.2007, Augsburg

Nationwide hospitalization costs of skin melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer in Germany

Meeting Abstract

  • Andreas Stang - Universität Halle, Halle
  • Jürgen Stausberg - Universität Duisburg-Essen, Essen
  • Wolfgang Bödeker - BKK Bundesverband, Essen
  • Hedy Kerek-Bodden - Zentralinstitut für die Kassenärztliche Versorgung, Berlin
  • Karl-Heinz Jöckel - Universität Duisburg-Essen, Essen

Kongress Medizin und Gesellschaft 2007. Augsburg, 17.-21.09.2007. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2007. Doc07gmds402

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 6, 2007

© 2007 Stang et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in contrast to skin melanoma (MEL) is considered a negligible health problem because mortality of NMSC is low. The aim of this study was to provide insights into the burden of NMSC and MEL by analyzing nationwide skin cancer hospitalization data and data from a dermatologist panel of Germany. In addition, we estimated hospitalization costs due to skin cancer in Germany.

Material and Methods: We analyzed nationwide hospitalization data from 2003 and estimated hospitalization costs due to MEL and NMSC. We estimated the annual number of private dermatologists’ visits in Germany due to skin cancer. Hospitalization cost estimates were derived from a) DRG estimates, b) mean daily hospitalization costs, and c) BKK Federal Association of Company Health Insurance Funds.

Results: In 2003, 20,455 melanoma-related and 41,929 NMSC-related hospitalizations occurred in Germany. Age-standardized hospitalization rates for NMSC were 2.5-fold and 1.8-fold higher among men and women than the rates for MEL respectively. The age-specific proportions of hospitalizations for NMSC in relation to all cancer-related hospitalizations increased within the age range of 65 years and more. Among people aged 90 years and more, 14% of all cancer-related hospitalizations were due to NMSC. The estimated total number of dermatologists’ visits in 2003 is considerably higher for NMSC than MEL. The number of dermatologists’ visits among people younger than 50 years is higher due to MEL than NMSC. Thereafter, this number is higher for NMSC than for MEL. Estimated annual hospitalization costs for MEL were 50-60 Million Euro and those for NMSC 105-130 Million Euro. The estimated overall number of private dermatologists’ visits in Germany 2003 is considerably higher for NMSC than MEL.

Conclusions: Analyses of hospitalizations data and data from private dermatologists give NMSC higher public health relevance than can be obtained from consideration of death statistics.