What are the disadvantages of electrodessication and curettage (ED&C) for the treatment of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC)?

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

The thick scars that often occur after ED&C can delay the diagnosis of cancer recurrence. Consequently, ED&C should be used with caution in invasive cSCC. The procedure is not appropriate for certain anatomic locations (ie, eyelids, genitalia, lips, ears).

The main disadvantage of ED&C is that no specimen is available for margin evaluation, and most dermatologic surgeons believe the actual long-term cure rate for invasive SCC is much lower than that quoted in the literature. Nevertheless, the 5-year cure rates for small primary cSCC may be as high as 96%. Cure rates for high-risk tumors are much lower, although no well-controlled, prospective studies have been performed.

Tumor recurrence may result from failure of ED&C treatment to eradicate atypical cells residing deep in the hair follicles or in the dermis. Nonetheless, the procedure is fast, minimally invasive, well tolerated, and effective for properly selected lesions.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!