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Non-melanoma skin cancer clinical guideline

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Non-melanoma skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), affects more than 3 million Americans a year. These new evidence-based guidelines provide the most current information and recommendations for the surgical and medical treatment, follow-up, and prevention of BCC and cSCC. Review guideline highlights or download the full guidelines below.

Squamous cell carcinoma guidelines

Access the full cSCC skin cancer guidelines from JAAD (free access)

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Basal cell carcinoma guidelines

Access the full BCC skin cancer guidelines from JAAD (free access)

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Guideline highlights

  • The guideline recommends the types of biopsies to determine a diagnosis of BCC and cSCC, with the goal of the biopsy to obtain needed clinical information to guide care. 

  • Surgery remains the cornerstone of BCC and cSCC treatment. 

  • Nonsurgical approaches (topicals, radiation, photodynamic therapy) have lower cure rates and should only be considered for low-risk BCC or cSCC if surgery is impractical or contraindicated.

  • As there are limited options to treat metastatic disease, early and complete treatment is important.

  • Patients diagnosed with BCC or cSCC should have annual checks for skin cancer recurrence or other new primary skin cancer(s).  

Skin Cancer Resource Center for patients

Are you looking for information on managing and treating your skin cancer? The Academy offers a wealth of skin cancer prevention and treatment information for the public in the Skin Cancer Resource Center.

View the AAD guidelines disclaimer.