When is biopsy indicated in the workup of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC)?

Updated: Jul 08, 2020
  • Author: Talib Najjar, DMD, MDS, PhD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Small skin lesions in noncritical areas may be amenable to excisional biopsy, in which the entire area of concern is removed. This method has the benefit of being diagnostic as well as potentially therapeutic, without the need for a second procedure.

For larger lesions or those located in cosmetic or functionally critical areas, confirming the diagnosis is often preferable before embarking on surgical excision that may be extensive and require reconstruction. In these cases, an incisional or punch biopsy should be performed initially, with further treatment based on the pathology results


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