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November 1984

Failure of Curettage and Electrodesiccation for Removal of Basal Cell Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta. Dr Bennett is now with the Department of Medicine/Dermatology, UCLA School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1984;120(11):1456-1460. doi:10.1001/archderm.1984.01650470062014

• Sixty-nine primary basal cell carcinomas were treated by curettage and electrodesiccation three times, and subsequently, excised tissue was analyzed for microscopic persistence of tumor. We found persistent tumor in 33.3% of cases overall. Of 45 lesions on the head, residual tumor was detected microscopically in 46.6%, whereas of 24 lesions on the trunk and extremities, residual tumor was found in only 8.3%. This difference was statistically significant, even though the average precurettage and postcurettage sizes of the lesions in these two groups were comparable. Therefore, we conclude that basal cell carcinomas are more resistant to ablation with curettage and electrodesiccation on the head than on the trunk or extremities.

(Arch Dermatol 1984;120:1456-1460)

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