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Br J Dermatol. 2009 Sep;161(3):568-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09310.x. Epub 2009 May 26.

Prospective follow-up after curettage-cryosurgery for scalp and face skin cancers.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of Gothenburg, S-421 22 Västra Frölunda/Gothenburg, Sweden.



Cryosurgery (CS) in the treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSCs), especially in the face and on the scalp, has several advantages vs. other methods. Prospectively gathered long-term results after CS are, however, scarce.


To establish long-term results after curettage and CS (CCS) of NMSCs in the face and on the scalp considering complication rate, patient tolerance, cosmetic outcome and rate of recurrence.


Seven hundred and twenty-six patients with 962 face and scalp NMSCs were prospectively followed after CCS (1 week, 3 months, and then annually) during the time period December 1994-September 2008.


Mean/median follow-up time was 42/34 months (range 1 month-14 years). Forty-two of 962 (4.4%) received antibiotics due to clinical, superficial infections. No serious complications were recorded. Ninety-nine per cent of the women and 100% of the men graded the cosmetic outcome as 'good' on a three-level scale, follow-up rate 99%. Fifty-six (14%) women and 78 (23%) men (P = 0.001) developed one or more new NMSCs during the study period. Fourteen of 962 (1.5%) recurrences were recorded, in nine women and five men. An expected recurrence-free rate/cure rate of > 97% after 14 years was calculated (Kaplan-Meier).


CCS in the treatment of NMSCs is expedient and well tolerated, with no major and few minor complications. When performed as in the present study it produces good cosmetic results in virtually all cases, with an anticipated 97% cure rate after 14 years. CCS is thus a highly viable alternative in the treatment of NMSCs in the face and on the scalp.

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