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September 8, 2021

Clinical Evidence on “Watchful Waiting” in Basal Cell Carcinoma

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Services Research, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  • 2Department of Dermatology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
JAMA Dermatol. 2021;157(10):1161-1162. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2021.3019

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is estimated to be the most common cancer and primarily occurs in light-skinned, older patients. While accurate mortality rates are difficulty to calculate, they are estimated to be low (on the order of 0.12 per 100 000).1 For the vast majority of patients, BCC has an indolent course and an excellent prognosis with standard excision, Mohs surgery, or even topical treatments. These treatments are typically well tolerated, but, like any medical intervention, have risks and carry morbidity. For a variety of reasons, patients sometimes want or need to avoid or delay treatment.

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