Content » Vol 99, Issue 13

Investigative Report

Comparative Analyses of Tumour Volume Doubling Times for Periocular and Non-periocular Head and Neck Basal Cell Carcinomas

Andre Boo Shern Khoo, Patrick Kin Yoong Goon, Holger Sudhoff, Peter Kin Cho Goon
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-3325


Basal cell carcinomas are the commonest solid malignancy in humans and thought to grow faster in the periocular region. We measured growth rates between periocular and non-periocular nodular basal cell carcinomas in the head and neck region from high-resolution digital photos and operative notes. The non-periocular basal cell carcinomas (head and neck) showed a mean tumour volume doubling time of 129.8 ± 21.74 (n = 79) days, and the periocular basal cell carcinoma a mean of 177.5 ± 37.21 (n = 47) days. The unpaired t-test with Welch correction showed that this difference was not significant (p = 0.2719). The mean tumour volume doubling time was 147.59 ± 37.75 days for head and neck basal cell carcinomas overall. For the first time, tumour volume doubling times for nodular basal cell carcinomas in the periocular versus non-periocular regions for the head and neck area were analysed, with no significant differences demonstrated. Further, comparison of basal cell carcinoma growth rates with other common solid tumours confirmed that basal cell carcinomas are slow growing malignancies.


Basal cell carcinomas are very common skin tumours which are locally destructive. It was thought that basal cell carcinomas around the eyes grow faster than those elsewhere based on one previous paper. We demonstrate that there is no evidence for this and also calculate tumour growth rates to show the position of basal cell carcinomas in a growth rate figure, compared to more malignant tumours. Our new data can guide clinicians as to how much time there is available for removal or treatment before crucial parts of our anatomy could be affected.

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