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August 1960

Curettage and Electrodesiccation in the Treatment of Skin Cancer

Author Affiliations

Houston, Texas

From the Department of Dermatology, Baylor University College of Medicine, Everett R. Seale, Chairman, and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Houston, Texas.

Present address: Tyler, Texas (Dr. Lyles).

Arch Dermatol. 1960;82(2):197-204. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.01580020039006

Curettage followed by electrodesiccation is probably the method most widely used in dermatologic office practice today for the treatment of skin cancer. This method has not received proper emphasis in medical literature, and has been severely criticized by some observers who prefer surgical excision or irradiation. The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the validity of employing this procedure. If curettage and electrodesiccation is to attain proper respect, it would seem that basic principles involved in its use, indications, contraindications, and data presenting a cure rate should be published.

The responsibility for treating cancer of the skin for the most part falls upon the dermatologist, and this is as it should be, since by specialized training he is best able to differentiate skin cancer from other similar-appearing benign lesions. The physician with the greatest knowledge and understanding of the skin should be the physician most able to individualize and