Delayed Skin Cancer Diagnosis Results In Complicated Removal

ByWendy Ketner, M.D.


Updated on April 11, 2019

Delayed Skin Cancer Diagnosis Results In Complicated Removal

This case involves a 56-year-old male patient who presented to his dermatologist with a mole on his chin. The dermatologist diagnosed him with an infected hair follicle, prescribed topical treatment, and recommended follow up in 2 weeks. During the follow up, the dermatologist informed the patient that the infection had cleared. The patient continued to experience swelling in the area and presented to the dermatologist 2 months later with the same complaints. The dermatologist ran a biopsy which revealed a basal cell carcinoma. A Mohs procedure was performed to remove the mole. The patient required substantial skin removal. As a result of the defect caused by the Mohs procedure, the patient required a skin flap to fix the carcinoma site.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

1. Do you routinely evaluate patients with this clinical condition? Please explain.

2. How common is it for basal cell carcinoma to metastasize?

Expert Witness Response E-060295

inline imageI have diagnosed thousands of basal cell cancers over my career as an academic clinical dermatologist. It is a common diagnosis in dermatology. Basal carcinoma almost never metastasizes, there are millions diagnosed every year and there are fewer than 100 cases of metastasis in the literature. Generally speaking, I counsel patients that risk of metastasis is infinitesimally small. I have published on the correct identification of biopsy site at the time of surgery using a patient's cell phone. I have also published on a different, common skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma.

About the author

Wendy Ketner, M.D.

Wendy Ketner, M.D.

Dr. Wendy Ketner is a distinguished medical professional with a comprehensive background in surgery and medical research. Currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at the Expert Institute, she plays a pivotal role in overseeing the organization's most important client relationships. Dr. Ketner's extensive surgical training was completed at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, where she gained hands-on experience in various general surgery procedures, including hernia repairs, cholecystectomies, appendectomies, mastectomies for breast cancer, breast reconstruction, surgical oncology, vascular surgery, and colorectal surgery. She also provided care in the surgical intensive care unit.

Her research interests have focused on post-mastectomy reconstruction and the surgical treatment of gastric cancer, including co-authoring a textbook chapter on the subject. Additionally, she has contributed to research on the percutaneous delivery of stem cells following myocardial infarction.

Dr. Ketner's educational background includes a Bachelor's degree from Yale University in Latin American Studies and a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. Moreover, she is a member of the Board of Advisors for Opollo Technologies, a fintech healthcare AI company, contributing her medical expertise to enhance healthcare technology solutions. Her role at Expert Institute involves leveraging her medical knowledge to provide insights into legal cases, underscoring her unique blend of medical and legal acumen.

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