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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1999 Oct;41(4):600-5.

Incidence of residual basal cell carcinoma in patients who appear tumor free after biopsy.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) biopsy sites often heal with no clinical evidence of residual tumor.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of our study is to determine whether such patients require further therapy. If biopsies can be curative, health care costs can be reduced by avoiding unnecessary surgery.

METHODS:

We prospectively evaluated 41 consecutive subjects with 42 biopsy-confirmed BCCs who appeared disease free. Each biopsy site was excised and processed by the Mohs micrographic technique. The tissue block was sectioned horizontally at 30-micrometer intervals until exhausted. Sections were stained and examined microscopically for residual tumor.

RESULTS:

Tumor was identified in 28 (66%) of 42 cases. No statistically significant relationship was found between the presence or absence of residual tumor and the following variables: age, sex, tumor location, biopsy technique, histopathologic subtype, scar size, time from biopsy to surgery, and extent of inflammation in histologic sections.

CONCLUSION:

Our data suggest that patients with small (< 1 cm) primary BCCs that appear to be completely removed after a biopsy procedure are at risk for recurrence without further treatment.

PMID:
10495384
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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