Treatment Patterns, Outcomes, and Patient Satisfaction of Primary Epidermally Limited Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Epidermally limited nonmelanoma skin cancer (ELNMSC) (superficial basal cell carcinoma [SBCC] and squamous cell carcinoma in situ [SCCIS]) is common. Data on outcomes and patient satisfaction are lacking.

OBJECTIVE

To examine treatment efficacy and satisfaction in ELNMSC patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

Retrospective cohort study of adults with primary SBCC or SCCIS. A 25% random subset completed a satisfaction questionnaire.

RESULTS

Five hundred and fifty patients with 227 SBCC and 451 SCCIS were included; 329 tumors (49%) were treated with Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) and 349 (51%) with non-MMS (imiquimod [n = 26], 5% 5-fluorouracil [n = 234], ingenol mebutate [n = 32], or cryotherapy [n = 57]). Five-year recurrence-free survival was high in both groups, with MMS having a small but statistically significant advantage (99% vs 95%, p = .004). More MMS patients were willing to undergo treatment again (97% vs 86%, p = .024). Dissatisfaction was mostly due to prolonged treatment course and pain associated with non-MMS treatments.

CONCLUSION

Surgical and nonsurgical treatments for primary ELNMSC have low recurrence rates, though cure rate and patient satisfaction are higher with MMS. Treatment choice for epidermal NMSC may be guided through patient preferences regarding ability to comply with topical treatment, out-of-pocket costs, desire to treat surrounding field disease, and desire to avoid a surgical scar.

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