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Ann Chir Plast Esthet. 2008 Oct;53(5):389-98. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

[Excision skin margin and recurrence rate of skin cancer: a prospective study of 844 cases].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de chirurgie plastique, hôpital Saint-Louis, 1, avenue Claude-Vellefaux, 75010 Paris, France.



In order to evaluate recurrence rates after a mean follow-up period of five years, the aim of this unicentric prospective study was to collect data of the surgical procedure concerning both skin basal cell carcinomas (BCC) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC).


Eight hundred and fourty-four patients were included and data were retrospectively analyzed. During the surgical procedure, the peripheral clinical clearance margin was, respectively, 4mm for the skin basal cell carcinomas, 8 mm for the sclerodermiform type and 10mm for the squamous cell carcinomas.


Basal cell carcinomas (BCC) were represented in 80% and the most frequent locations were the nasal area (30%). On average, the BCC measured 13.2mm. The peripheral histological clearance margin average was 4.1mm. The rate of recurrence was 3.8% after follow-up at an average of 36 months. Squamous cell carcinomas were represented in 20% cases and their locations were mainly located on the lips, the cheeks, the genital region and the extremities. On average, the SCC measured 22.45 mm. The peripheral histological clearance margin average was 10.26 mm. The rate of recurrence was 5% after follow-up at an average of 33 months.


In our study, the rate of recurrence was less than 5% after follow-up of five years. To avoid repetitive operations and the risk of recurrence in anatomically sensitive areas, these tumors should be treated with standard wide margins chosen between 4 and 10 mm, function of the histological type.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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