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Dermatology Online Journal

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A 10-year review of outpatient skin biopsy results and skin cancer subtypes


The results of skin biopsies over a 10 year period were reviewed from the outpatient dermatology clinic at the Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, North Carolina. This research was conducted because there are very few studies that characterize this information over a long-term horizon. The biopsy rate per patient encounter, the clinical reason for the biopsy, the biopsy outcomes, the distribution of cutaneous malignancies per encounter, and the distribution of the subtypes of basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma were analyzed. Biopsy logs from January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2010 were reviewed. Our investigation found that 20% of patient encounters resulted in a biopsy. Of these biopsies, 87.9% were performed to rule out malignancy and 12.1% were completed on patients suspected of having inflammatory skin conditions. The basal cell carcinomas diagnosed in Greenville, NC have more aggressive histologic subtypes compared to other studies, whereas the squamous cell carcinomas and melanomas were less aggressive.

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