[Surgical treatment of epithelial skin tumors and their precursors]

Hautarzt. 2013 Aug;64(8):558-66. doi: 10.1007/s00105-013-2541-1.
[Article in German]


Squamous cell carcinomas of the skin and their precursors, actinic keratosis as well as basal cell carcinomas are classified as non-melanocytic skin cancer and belong to the group of epithelial skin tumors. This tumor entity is one of the most common forms of malignant cancer in western countries with an incidence of approximately 100-170 per 100,000 inhabitants per year in Europe. In German-speaking countries no exact numbers are available on the early forms of squamous cell carcinoma, actinic keratosis (carcinoma in situ); however, results from Great Britain show that at ages over 70 years old the prevalence of actinic keratosis is 34 % in men and 18 % in women. Because invasive epithelial cancer is very common and most commonly occurs in the head region, a safe but skin-sparing approach to surgical treatment is desirable. The safest procedure with respect to local recurrence is surgical excision with subsequent complete 3-dimensional histological preparation (micrographic surgery). With this method it is possible to excise tissue affected by tumor tissue in small steps. This facilitates defect coverage and leads to very good results as well as good esthetic results. The local recurrence rates are extremely low compared to alternative treatment methods, such as photodynamic therapy, topical application of imiquimod or cryosurgery and for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma, for example is 0.7 %. Dermatological operations are therefore interventions with a very high guarantee of tumor-free survival and functional and esthetic results.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Carcinoma / surgery*
  • Dermatologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Humans
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / surgery*