BACKGROUND Mohs surgery is indisputably a highly effective treatment for nonmelanoma skin cancers. In the current health care environment, physicians are challenged to provide high quality, efficacious care in a manner that is mindful of the patient's general health and well-being. We have used a functional assessment to evaluate older patients who present for Mohs surgery. OBJECTIVEThe purpose of this study is to categorize the functional status, using the Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) Scale, of patients 75 years and older undergoing Mohs surgery of a nonmelanoma skin cancer and to identify distinguishing characteristics of lower functioning patients. METHODSPatients 75 years and older undergoing Mohs surgery for nonmelanoma skin cancer at 8 separate geographically diverse sites were included. Patient and tumor characteristics were recorded. Physicians scored subjects on the KPS scale and administered a questionnaire to categorize the symptoms and impact of their skin cancer. RESULTSA total of 291 subjects completed the study. The average KPS score was 90.1. 93.1% of our subjects had a KPS score of ≥70. Subjects with a KPS score <70 were more likely to be older with larger symptomatic tumors. CONCLUSION The vast majority of patients 75 years and older undergoing Mohs surgery are highly functioning. Lower functioning patients are older with larger symptomatic tumors that negatively impact their lives.
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