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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


HERNANDEZ MARTIN, Ángela; NUNEZ REIZ, Antonio; SAIZ MARTINEZ, Marta  and  ROVIROSA I JUNCOSA, Juan. Cost per episode of care in the surgical treatment of skin cancer. Gac Sanit [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.4, pp.273-279. ISSN 0213-9111.

Background: Skin cancer is the most common form of malignancy in humans. It can be treated with various techniques and by different specialists. The procedure with the lowest failure rates is surgical excision. Objectives: To calculate the cost per episode of care in the surgical treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) when performed by dermatologists. Material and method: An episode of NMSC surgical care was defined as the series of healthcare services required for a dermatologist to treat skin cancer. The cost per episode was calculated using the economic data made available by the public health institution in which the analysis was performed. Results: The cost per episode of care varied between 273.71 and 1,129.84 euro, depending on the surgical procedure performed and the related health services required. Conclusions: Skin cancer is one of the cutaneous diseases with clinical manifestations that are easily recognized by dermatologists, who frequently do not even need histological confirmation to make the diagnosis and choose the therapeutic approach. Consequently, dermatological surgeons are highly efficient, since the episode of care is performed with a minimum of healthcare services and only in appropriately selected individuals. The cost of treatment varies substantially, depending on the complexity of the surgical procedures and the site where they are performed.

Keywords : Skin cancer; Surgical dermatology; Surgical care; Cost per episode.

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