New Skin Cancer Diagnoses Deserve to Include Talk of Mohs Surgery

  • Posted on: Nov 15 2021
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Any person or loved one of someone diagnosed with skin cancer is bound to have many questions. At first, it can be difficult to take in all of the information provided by a doctor, which could, in some cases, impede the consideration of various treatment options. Mohs trained dermatologists are excellent resources for patients, knowing that, ultimately, hope is the primary thing one needs when facing a skin cancer diagnosis. If the only detail that a patient can digest early on is that Mohs is the gold-standard in skin cancer treatment, that is enough to get them moving in the right direction. 

What Patients Should Know about Skin Cancer

A skin cancer diagnosis is frightening. It is also common. Every year, doctors diagnose more than 5 million cases of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The vast majority of these skin cancers occur on the neck and head where sun exposure is the most frequent. But these aren’t the only areas affected by skin cancer, nor are they the only areas treatable with Mohs Micrographic Surgery. Skin cancer surgery can be as unsettling to hear as a treatment option as hearing one has skin cancer. For this reason, it is important that patients are given a clear explanation of the conservative yet effective Mohs method. 

What Is Mohs Surgery, and When Is It Used?

Mohs surgery is an intricate, precise procedure that has significantly improved patient outcomes in the treatment of BCCs and SCCs. Mohs is the best treatment option for highly cosmetically-sensitive areas like the nose, eyes, lips, ears, fingers, toes, scalp, and even the genitals. It is also appropriate for larger skin cancers and those that are growing rapidly or have indistinguishable borders. Mohs has also been used in certain cases of melanoma skin cancer. 

The procedure is performed by a specially-trained dermatologist. The patient receives a local anesthetic that numbs the tissue involved, so does not feel pain during the surgery. Treatment is performed in the office and is completed through multiple stages done in a single visit. To achieve the best outcome, the Mohs dermatologist removes tissue in layers and immediately examines the specimen under a microscope. Tissue is removed one layer at a time until no cancer cells are seen under the microscope. This spares the greatest amount of healthy tissue possible. The American Society for Mohs Surgery strives to train and support clinicians interested in building their Mohs expertise. Doctors interested in upcoming courses can contact us at (800) 616-2767. Patients looking for a Mohs specialist can visit our directory here.

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American Society for Mohs Surgery
6475 East Pacific Coast Highway, Box 700
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