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Comment & Response
December 9/23, 2013

Treatment of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

Author Affiliations
  • 1Procedural Dermatology, Fletcher Allen Health Care, University of Vermont, Burlington
  • 2Division of Dermatology, Fletcher Allen Health Care, University of Vermont, Burlington
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(22):2096. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.10429

To the Editor Linos et al1 present a study questioning the value and current methods of treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) in elderly patients. Multiple and serious flaws exist in their study methods, results, and conclusions.

First, the authors refer to NMSCs as “nonmalignant skin cancers.” This statement is factually inaccurate and their categorization demonstrates bias. Patients do die of basal cell carcinoma,2 and many more patients each year die of squamous cell carcinoma.3 Low morbidity and mortality are observed for NMSCs because they are often treated early, not because these lesions are “nonmalignant.”

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