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ABSTRACT: Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) are locally destructive malignancies of the skin. They are the most common type of cancer in the western world. The lifetime incidence may be up to 39%. UV exposure is the most common risk factor. The majority of these tumours occur on the head and neck. Despite BCCs being relatively indolent the high incidence means that their treatment now contributes a significant and increasing workload for the health service. A good understanding of the options available is important. Management decisions may be influenced by various factors including the patient's age and comorbidities and the lesion subtype and location. Due to the importance of a good cosmetic and curative outcome for facial BCCs treatment decisions may differ significantly to those that would be made for BCCs arising elsewhere. There is little good randomized controlled data available comparing treatment modalities. Although traditionally standard excision has been the treatment of choice various other options are available including: Mohs micrographic surgery, curettage and cautery, cryosurgery, radiotherapy, topical imiquimod, photodynamic therapy and topical 5-fluorouracil. We discuss and review the literature and evidence base for the treatment options that are currently available for facial BCCs.Journal of skin cancer. 01/2011; 2011:380371.
Hull York Medical SchoolYork, ENG, United Kingdom