Is Mohs Surgery Just For The Face?

  • Posted on: Jul 15 2022
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Skin cancer screening of a man's faceOf all cancers that affect millions each year, skin cancer is the most common type, by far. Within skin cancer itself, two types account for nearly all skin cancer cases, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Especially with recent advancements in medical technology, early detection and treatment can lead to a nearly 100% success and recovery rate.

One treatment that has been recently considered to be the “gold standard” in skin cancer treatment, Mohs surgery is a procedure that was developed as the result of a laboratory accident. During a study in the 1930s of cancers and healthy tissues in rats, Dr. Fredric Mohr inadvertently injected a strong solution of zinc chloride into the study tissue.

Not only did the zinc chloride cause necrosis (deadening) of the tumor and surround healthy tissue, it preserved the code markers of cancerous cells in the same way as if the tissues were stored in a solution for many hours.

This discovery of a way to instantly see if cancerous cells exist, was developed into a procedure that allows for real-time examination of excised layers of cancerous skin to clear all but healthy tissue. Dr. Mohr first realized the full potential during the removal of an eyelid carcinoma. Seeing the results, he then selected it as the treatment procedure for 66 eyelid carcinomas in 1969, with an astonishing 100% 5-year cure rate.

Over time, additional studies and trials have taken place that made Mohr surgery a primary choice for treatment of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma elsewhere on the body. Since it tends to be less invasive and lead to less scarring than the also proven fixed tissue technique, Mohs surgery is often selected for removal of these carcinomas from functional areas of the face, eyelids, ears, scalp, fingers, toes, or genitals. It is also highly effective for tumor removal in certain cases of melanoma.

If you are suffering from basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma and would like to hear more information about Mohs surgery as a potential treatment option, contact the American Society for Mohs Surgery in Long Beach, CA at 714-379-6262 or visit

Posted in: MOHS Surgery

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