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​ GPs ‘cannot keep up to date with skin cancer surgery’

GP surgeons are unable to get enough practice at cutting out low-risk skin cancers because such cases occur so rarely, dermatology specialists have claimed.

Despite a rise in basal cell carcinoma (BCC) cases, they said their study showed there are still too few suitable low-risk cases for GPs who practice skin surgery to maintain expertise in surgical removal of the cancers.

Under NICE recommendations, GP surgeons are able to carry out low-risk BCC excisions.

However, the team of dermatology specialists from West Birmingham and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trusts said that in their area, only 3% of BCCs excised over 32 months were classed as low risk.

The team concluded that ‘low-risk BCCs suitable for excision by GP surgeons are of low prevalence’ and that it would be ’difficult for GPs to maintain competencies to perform effective skin surgery’ and ‘unlikely to be economically viable to excise BCCs in primary care’.

Clin Exper Dermatol; March 2016



Readers' comments (5)

  • That will not be the case once massive GP hubs are common place.

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  • GPs manage vast majority of BCCs and SCCs here in Oz. seems to generally work well.

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  • Everyone protects their own empire.

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  • if I'm reading this correctly the dermatologists in this study classify 97 percent of bcc as "not low risk". For a cancer that never metastasises and grows as slowly as a primary care budget. Either they need to get out more or this has been mis reported.

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  • Dear All,
    This is clearly rubbish research. I have an interest in GP dermatological surgery and a very sun exposed population. I deal with hundreds of these each year. The single greates flaw in this research is the fact that they are analysing only part of the population, EXCISED BCCs. You do not need to excise BCCs, cryo, curette Efudix etc are all perfectly acceptable treatments. Ergo how do they know how many BCCs have been dealt with in the community by the GPs? They don't.
    Paul C

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