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Skin Cancer - Keratoacanthoma Diagnosis, Treatment

Diagnosis of Keratoacanthoma

Keratoacanthomas are diagnosed based on their history and clinical presentation. As these lesions are usually removed, the pathologic picture is typical and confirms the diagnosis.

Treatment for Keratoacanthoma

Most KAs resolve spontaneously, but an underlying squamous cell carcinoma cannot be ruled out without removal of the tumor and microscopic evaluation. Living with the tumor while waiting for it to regress can be disturbing, not only because the lesion is often raised and unsightly, but also because it could become malignant.

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Methods of eradication include surgical excision, which usually results in a very cosmetic appearing scar. Keratoancanthoma can also be treated with curettage and electrodesiccation, where the tumor is scraped out and the base is burned. Liquid nitrogen, an extremely cold chemical, can be applied to the lesion as well. Also, small doses of radiation and localized injections of chemotherapeutic agents can be effective.

Keratoacanthoma Prevention

Minimizing sun exposure can help prevent the occurrence of KAs.

Physician-developed and -monitored.
Original Date of Publication: 01 Sep 2000
Reviewed by: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 04 Dec 2007
Last Modified:24 Sep 2010

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