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A retrospective study of outcome of Mohs’ micrographic surgery for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma using formalin fixed sections

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The surgical management of recurrent or large squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) can be challenging as tumours often extend beyond visible margins. Micrographic surgery is a potentially effective method of ensuring complete clearance of tumour. A retrospective study of all cases of SCC treated by micrographic surgery in this department between 1986 and 1996 has been done. Sixty-one patients were treated using a formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue technique with a median follow-up of 4 years. In two cases there was local recurrence and in three others metastasis to local lymph nodes. The overall cure rate was 92% (56 of 61), which compares favourably with published series using chemosurgery and frozen tissue techniques. The results show that this technique of micrographic surgery is a satisfactory and cost-effective alternative to conventional frozen section techniques in the treatment of SCC. The formalin-fixed tissue method has the advantage of providing high-quality permanent histological sections using existing conventional pathology services.
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Keywords: cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma; formalin fixation; micrographic (Mohs’) surgery

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Dermatology and 2: Pathology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LP, U.K.

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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