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A systematic review finds incomplete excision rates for basal cell carcinoma range from 4.7% to 20.4%, against recommended guidelines of 5%.

A doctor examines moles on a woman's back

Nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC), either basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), is the commonest cancer worldwide. The usual treatment is surgical excision, where a cut is made around the malignancy including an area of normal tissue, removing all of the skin cancer cells and curing the patient.

Guidelines published by the British Association of Dermatologists quote a 5% incomplete excision rate, enabling practitioners to advise patients on possible outcomes and providing a benchmark for audit targets.

However, in a new study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, Abhilash Jain, Associate Professor of Plastic and Hand Surgery at NDORMS, University of Oxford reveals that current guidelines underestimate the rates of incomplete excision.

The full story is available on the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology & Musculoskeletal Sciences website.

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