Almost Three-Quarters of Skin Cancers OK for Mohs Surgery

Tumor location most important factor for determining appropriateness

Almost Three-Quarters of Skin Cancers OK for Mohs Surgery

FRIDAY, June 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Application of recently published appropriate-use criteria suggests Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) can be used in nearly three-quarters of skin cancers, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Adam B. Blechman, M.D., from the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, and colleagues retrospectively identified all biopsy-proven skin cancers, excluding invasive melanoma, treated over an eight-month period using medical records (1,059 skin cancers). Use of MMS was classified as appropriate, inappropriate, or uncertain based on the appropriate-use criteria.

The researchers found that MMS was appropriate in 72.0 percent of cases, inappropriate in 20.4 percent, and uncertain in 7.6 percent. Just over half of skin cancers (59.3 percent) occurred in the following areas: head, neck, hands, feet, ankles, genitalia, nipples/areola, and pretibial surface.

"Using recently published appropriate-use criteria, 72.0 percent of skin cancers at this institution were appropriate for MMS," the authors write.

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