Skin cancer surgery doubles in Medicare patients

April 25, 2012

The use of Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) to treat nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) among Medicare beneficiaries doubled from 2001 through 2006, a study published in the April issue of Archives of Dermatology reports.

New York - The use of Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) to treat nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) among Medicare beneficiaries doubled from 2001 through 2006, a study published in the April issue of Archives of Dermatology reports.

Investigators reviewed a sample of Medicare beneficiaries who received surgical intervention to treat NMSC from 2001 through 2006. About 36 percent of the reported 26,931 operations were MMS. The rate of MMS doubled during this time, while the rate of surgical excision increased slightly.

HealthDay News reports that MMS was used to treat about 15 percent of total body lesions, and nearly half of all facial lesions among Medicare recipients.

Age, race, lesion location and area of country for patient treatment were significantly associated with MMS use, the authors wrote. The highest proportion of MMS among Medicare patients was in Georgia, at 45.1 percent, while the lowest rate was in Louisiana, at 11.0 percent.

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