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December 1977

Curettage-Electrodesiccation vs Surgical Excision

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(12):1729. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640120097028

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To the Editor.—  Dr Kopf and his colleagues are to be congratulated in providing careful statistical documentation of their results in the curettage-electrodesiccation treatment of basal cell carcinomata (BCC) (Arch Dermatol 113:439-443, 1977). Many previous reports of recurrence rates following treatment of BCC are deficient in that patients who were lost to follow-up before the end of the study period are simply ignored. Hopefully, the technique of Kopf et al will be adopted by others and thus enable meaningful comparison of the cure rates obtained at different centers.While admiring the thorough statistical analysis that was given the results of curettage-electrodesiccation treatment of BCC, I felt it a pity that so much effort was expended on an antiquated method. Surgical excision produces cosmetic results clearly superior to curettage-electrodesiccation and also provides an intact specimen, which permits microscopical examination of the surgical margins. Rather than concerning themselves with improving the technique

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