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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Jun;54(6):1039-45.

Treatment of basal cell carcinoma with curettage alone.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona 85259, USA.



Although curettage and electrodesiccation (C&E) is widely used to treat basal cell carcinoma, whether electrodesiccation improves outcome is unknown.


We sought to compare cure rates of curettage alone with those of C&E.


We conducted a retrospective records review of patients treated with curettage alone at 5-year follow-up or longer that extracted data about tumor location, size, histologic subtype, biopsy specimen margin involvement, and recurrence, as well as data about the medical history of patients treated in a dermatology clinic in a tertiary-care academic medical institution.


Biopsy-proven tumors (302) amenable to treatment with C&E and treated by a single investigator with curettage alone had a 5-year cure rate of 96.03%, with minimal complications (hypopigmentation, scarring). Tumors involving more than 50% of the deep edge of the shave biopsy specimen had an increased risk of recurrence.


This is a retrospective study based on historic controls.


For nonaggressive basal cell carcinoma, curettage alone has a cure rate similar to the published rates for C&E.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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