Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 153-157

Who should carry out skin cancer excisions? A systematic review

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, St Georgeæs University of London, London, UK
2 Imperial College London, London, UK
3 Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Murtaza Kadhum
Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School, University of Oxford, Oxford.
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_174_18

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Background: The incidence of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancers is increasing in the United Kingdom. Surgical excision carries the highest cure rates for all skin cancers and is the first-line treatment for melanomas and high-risk nonmelanoma cancers. This is most commonly performed by general practitioners (GPs), dermatologists, and plastic surgeons. Objective: The aim of this study was to identify which health-care professionals achieve the best outcomes following surgical excision of skin cancer lesions. Materials and Methods: A comprehensive search of the Cochrane Library and PubMed databases was conducted. PRISMA guidelines were adhered to throughout. Results: Six studies were identified and reviewed. Dermatologists were most likely to excise lesions adequately, and GPs were the least likely. Dermatologists displayed the greatest diagnostic accuracy, and excisions led by them had the highest overall and disease-free survival rates. Plastic surgeons were most likely to excise complex lesions on difficult-to-treat areas. Conclusion: Dermatologists can excise many skin lesions adequately, but plastic surgeons should continue to take an active role in complex or anatomically challenging lesions. There is a need for more validated training for GPs in the management of skin cancers. Further studies incorporating a randomized control protocol are needed to definitely assess who is best placed to surgically excise these lesions.

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