Treating Basal Cell Carcinoma: Why Mohs Should be Considered
- Posted on: Aug 15 2016
Physicians have been treating basal cell carcinomas for decades. Throughout modern medical history, a number of techniques have been developed to remove cancerous cells and inhibit their return. Here, we will take a look at common treatments and conduct a comparison between them and Mohs Micrographic Surgery.
Surgical treatment for basal cell carcinoma, and even squamous cell carcinomas and melanoma, are performed with the intent of excising the full extent of abnormal cells. This typically requires the surgeon to also remove the smallest possible degree of healthy tissue along with them. Common approaches include:
- Excision uses precision surgical technique to cut out diseased tissue.
- Curettage and electrodessication is considered by some to be an antiquated technique. Its value, before Mohs, was that it was less invasive than standard excision.
In cases where the surgical excision of basal cell carcinomas is not possible, such as highly visible tumors on the nose or ears, some physicians consider the option of radiation therapy. Cancer cells may be destroyed by the high-energy rays used in this clinical approach, but they may return at the treatment site years later.
Topicals, Light, and Immunotherapy
When cancer lesions are identified early and affect only superficial tissues, physicians may consider the advantages of photodynamic therapy, medications that modify immune response, or topical chemotherapy medication. These solutions only affect surface cells, so may not be the ideal choice for the majority of patients seeking the utmost peace of mind.
From cryotherapy to immunotherapy to drugs such as Odomzo or Erivedge, there are choices that physicians can offer their patients . . . and then there is Mohs.
If you have researched Mohs at all, you know that this “innovative” treatment is nothing new. Dr. Frederic Mohs developed his precision technique more than 75 years ago; it has just taken modern medicine that long to catch on.
The Mohs technique was developed to achieve the highest success rate through the most conservative means, and this is exactly what has been accomplished. Patients exploring options for skin cancer treatment are seeking this. They are seeking results. They are seeking a return to health and emotional well-being. The Mohs technique outperforms all other methods of treatment mentioned here, including surgical excision and radiation therapy combined.
Your patients deserve the best care they can get. We know you want to provide this for each and every one. The ASMS has developed a community where health professionals can revisit the Mohs technique and refine their technique.
Learn more about membership with the American Society for Mohs Surgery. Call 800-616-2767.
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