(HealthDay News) — Application of recently published appropriate-use criteria suggests Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) can be used in nearly three-quarters of skin cancers, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Adam B. Blechman, MD, from the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, and colleagues retrospectively identified all biopsy-proven skin cancers, excluding invasive melanoma, treated over an 8-month period using medical records (1,059 skin cancers). Use of MMS was classified as appropriate, inappropriate, or uncertain based on the appropriate-use criteria.

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The researchers found that MMS was appropriate in 72.0% of cases, inappropriate in 20.4%, and uncertain in 7.6%. Just over half of skin cancers (59.3%) occurred in the following areas: head, neck, hands, feet, ankles, genitalia, nipples/areola, and pretibial surface.

“Using recently published appropriate-use criteria, 72.0% of skin cancers at this institution were appropriate for MMS,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Blechman AB, Patterson JW, Russell MA. Application of Mohs micrographic surgery appropriate-use criteria to skin cancers at a university health system. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014;71(1):29-35.