Gender Differences in Tumor and Patient Characteristics in Those Undergoing Mohs Surgery

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Nonmelanoma skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and when indicated, Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) is an effective method for tumor removal. Few studies have focused on gender-specific characteristics among those undergoing MMS.

OBJECTIVE

To elucidate patient- and tumor-specific characteristics in female MMS patients.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

We performed a retrospective chart review of 12,344 consecutive patients undergoing MMS from 2005 to 2012.

RESULTS

There was a 1.5:1 male predominance in the presentation of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) for MMS. However, BCC comprised 72% of tumors in women compared with 63% in men. Presenting tumor sizes of BCCs were smaller in women (0.9 vs 1.2 cm2, p < .01). Superficial BCCs were more common in women (p < .001). Women had fewer squamous cell carcinoma (p < .01) and squamous cell carcinoma in situ (p < .01). They were more likely to present with tumors on their legs and central facial areas, whereas men had more tumors on their scalps and ears. Plastic surgery referral was over twice as common in the female population (p < .01).

CONCLUSION

In our data set, significant gender-specific differences were found in women compared with men undergoing MMS. These findings may be the result of discrepancies in sun exposure, protective behavior, and cosmetic concern.

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