BACKGROUNDCutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (cSCC) have upstage rates of approximately 10.3% to 11.1%. Data are currently limited on the rate of upstaging for metastatic cSCC.OBJECTIVEThe aim of this study was to determine the rates of upstaging, between diagnosis and surgery, and differences in management for metastatic and non-metastatic high-risk cSCC.MATERIALS AND METHODSThis was a retrospective, case-control, single institution, multi-center study. Univariate analysis was used.RESULTSSixty-eight subjects (34 metastatic & 34 non-metastatic) with 69 tumors were included. The overall rate of upstaging was 46.4%. The most common reasons for upstage were undocumented tumor size and under-diagnosis of poor differentiation. There were no differences in rates of upstaging. Preoperative imaging was performed in 43.6% of wide local excisions (WLE) versus 3.3% of Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS; p <.001). The median days from surgery to sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB), or nodal dissection was shorter for WLE versus MMS (0 vs 221 days, p <.001).CONCLUSIONImproved clinical documentation, including documenting tumor size, and the identification of pathologic risk factors, including poor differentiation and depth of invasion, are needed for proper staging. Preoperative imaging and discussion of SLNB may be beneficial for high-risk T2b and T3 tumors.
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