Utilization of Topographical Mohs Micrographic Surgery Maps for Rapid Review of Clinicopathologic Characteristics of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers of the Ear

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Nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) of the ear are considered high risk. Precise location of tumor sites is important when identifying surgical treatment sites.


Review precise locations and histopathologic subtypes of auricular NMSC treated with Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) using a standardized topographical numbering system for rapid data extraction.


Using a MMS topographical number system, the author performed a retrospective chart review of 649 consecutive patients treated with MMS at Mayo Clinic for primary cutaneous basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) or squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) of the ear.


Nineteen percent of consecutively referred patients had NMSC of the ear. Fifty-four percent were SCC and 42% were BCC. The left superior helix was the most common auricular location treated with MMS. Fifty-three percent of BCC on the ear were nodular. Seventy percent SCC on the ears were well differentiated. Contrary to previous studies, basosquamous carcinoma had strong predilection for the posterior ear (80%).


Higher incidence of auricular NMSC in men was confirmed with SCC being most common. Searching the medical record for specific topographical numbers allowed for rapid investigation of precise anatomic locations of NMSC. This technique may allow for focused research and rapid data extraction when anatomic location is the primary search criterion.

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