Reasons for excision of skin tumors: A one-year prospective study in a tertiary skin cancer unit

Aimilios Lallas, Caterina Longo, Elvira Moscarella, Mara Lombardi, Francesca Specchio, Margherita Raucci, Iris Zalaudek, Giuseppe Argenziano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Biopsies and surgical excisions represent routine procedures in clinical settings dealing with skin cancer. Objective: To evaluate the impact of clinical examination, dermoscopy, reflectance confocal microscopy and digital monitoring on the decision to excise or biopsy a lesion in routine practice. Methods: Patients scheduled for biopsy or excision of a skin lesion were prospectively enrolled. The expert dermatologist was asked to select the main factor that prompted him/her to excise or biopsy the lesion. Results: The most common reason for melanoma excision was clinical and dermoscopic morphology (70.3%), followed by dermoscopy (11.4%), monitoring (8.9%) and clinical context (8.2%). Most basal and squamous cell carcinomas were recognized both clinically and dermoscopically, while 18.6 and 15.0%, respectively, could only be detected with dermoscopic examination. Conclusion: Each part of the clinical examination has a contributory role in the diagnosis of melanoma and other skin cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-346
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 28 2015


  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Diagnosis
  • Excision
  • Melanoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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