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In the last 30 years, more individuals have been diagnosed with skin cancer than all other forms of cancer combined. With early detection and treatment, most skin cancers are curable using techniques such as Mohs surgery.
What is Mohs micrographic Surgery?
Mohs surgery is an outpatient surgical method performed under local anesthesia. It is named for Dr. Frederick Mohs, who developed the process in the mid-twentieth century. This technique involves removal of layers of affected skin, until the tissue no longer contains cancer cells. Mohs is very precise. It can take several hours for proper mapping of the tumors, but treatment is done while the patient waits. With this procedure, the patient gets pathology results immediately, and does not leave the office until all of the cancer has been removed.
Benefits of Mohs surgery
Mohs surgery is advantageous in treating basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and some melanomas, as well as other more unusual types of skin cancer.
There are several reasons Mohs surgery should be considered:
It is effective for cancers that are large or more aggressive.
The precision of this technique allows removal of cancers that do not have defined borders.
The technique preserves healthy tissues for minimal cosmetic impact in areas such as eyelids, ears, nose, mouth, fingertips, or genitals.
It has a high success rate for removal of cancers that are recurring, or have a higher risk of recurrence.
In recent years, guidelines have been laid out for proper utilization of the Mohs technique. It is not suitable for every skin cancer. Dr. Khanna, lead dermatologist at Dermatology Specialists of Illinois in Algonquin and Woodstock, will refer you to a Mohs surgeon if this surgery is appropriate.