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Research Letter | Association of VA Surgeons

Analysis of Cases in Which a Biopsy Specimen Is Positive and an Excised Lesion Is Negative for Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

Jane Han, BS1,2; Naveed N. Nosrati, MD1; Tahereh Soleimani, MD, MPH1; Imtiaz A. Munshi, MD3; Roberto L. Flores, MD4; Sunil S. Tholpady, MD, PhD3
[+] Author Affiliations
1Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Indiana University, Indianapolis
2Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
3Department of Surgery, Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana
4Department of Plastic Surgery, New York University, New York
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(5):486-488. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.4449.
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This retrospective database study aims to determine the lesion and patient characteristics that would most strongly predict a histologically negative result for an excised lesion after a biopsy specimen had positive margins.

Nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSCs), including squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC), are the most common types of cancer with the fastest-growing treatment costs in the United States.1 Standard treatment requires biopsy for histologic confirmation, followed by excision. Oftentimes, no residual carcinoma is detected, implying spontaneous clearance at rates reported to vary from 24% to 76%.25 These types of lesions have been investigated by others25 and are not fully understood. Our study aims to determine the lesion and patient characteristics that would most strongly predict a histologically negative result for an excised lesion after a biopsy specimen had positive margins.

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