Recurrence Rates of Aggressive Histologic Types of Basal Cell Carcinoma After Treatment with Electrodesiccation and Curettage Alone

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Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common cancer in Caucasians. Treatment options include electrodesiccation and curettage (EDC), surgical excision, and Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS). EDC is standard for smaller BCCs in low-risk locations with nonaggressive histologic subtypes. Larger BCCs in higher-risk locations and aggressive histologic subtypes are treated using surgical excision or MMS. We found no studies reporting recurrence rates for aggressive BCC subtypes treated using EDC alone.


To determine recurrence rates of histologically aggressive BCC treated using EDC.

Methods and Materials

This population-based, retrospective case study reviewed 37 primary infiltrative, desmoplastic, morpheaform, or micronodular BCCs in 34 patients treated with EDC. Recurrence was defined as reappearance of BCC within the boundaries of or contiguous to the scar resulting from initial treatment.


Of 37 primary aggressive BCCs, 10 recurred within 3.3 years. Average primary tumor diameter was 0.69 cm. Average primary tumor diameter was 0.73 cm for those that recurred and 0.67 cm for those that did not recur. Six recurrences were in high-risk areas, three in moderate-risk areas, and one in a low-risk area.


We report a 27% recurrence rate for histologically aggressive BCCs treated using EDC alone with median 6.5 years follow-up.

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