JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Comparison of outcomes for malignant melanoma of the face treated using Mohs micrographic surgery and wide local excision.

BACKGROUND: Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) is an accepted treatment for nonmelanoma skin cancer and has an evolving role in melanoma.

OBJECTIVE: To review oncologic outcomes of MMS and wide local excision (WLE) treatments for facial melanoma.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: A retrospective review of patients with invasive melanoma of the face between 1997 and 2007 identified from the Alberta Cancer Registry (Canada) was performed. Outcome measures were local recurrence (recurrence <2 cm from excision scar), distant recurrence (regional or systemic), and disease-specific survival.

RESULTS: One hundred fifty-one patients were available for analysis (60 MMS, 91 WLE). Median follow-up time was 48 months. The groups differed in tumor location and mitotic rate. Overall, there was no significant difference in 5-year local recurrence (7.9% WLE vs 6.2% MMS, p = .58), regional or systemic recurrence (18.8% vs 8.8%, p = 0.37) or disease-specific survival (82.8% vs 92.4%, p = .59). Breslow thickness was the only consistent predictor of local recurrence or other recurrence and disease-specific survival on multivariate analysis. Subset analysis of tumors with Breslow thickness less than 2 mm did not reveal any difference in outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Mohs micrographic surgery has oncologic outcomes of local recurrence, distant recurrence and overall survival similar to those of WLE for invasive facial melanoma.

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