Curettage & Desiccation (C&D)

Curettage and desiccation (C&D) is a surgical procedure commonly used in the treatment of some basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Skin cancers in general are softer than the surrounding healthy skin and therefore can be scraped away. 

First the local area of the skin cancer is anesthetized. Then, using a sharp, rounded tool called a curette, the doctor scrapes away the skin cancer. Finally, electricity is applied to the skin to cauterize the area with heat. 

The cancer is not cut out so margins are not examined microscopically, but C&D cure rates are similar to those of excisions. 

Learn more about Dermatology at The Oregon Clinic