Mohs Surgery: The Best Treatment Available for Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is on the rise. Two of the most common forms, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, affect more than 3 million Americans combined every year. While melanoma is also on the rise.

More and more patients are turning to Mohs (pronounced “Moe’s”) surgery to not only get rid of the unsightly bumps but also to prevent the cancerous cells from growing and metastasizing to other parts of the body.

Mohs surgery

Mohs is called a micrographic surgery because the surgeon removes tiny slivers of tissue at a time. The process is simple and is usually completed in a single visit.

First, Dr. Rosso anesthetizes the area. Then he removes the visible growth and as little tissue around the growth as possible. One of his staff will bandage the wound left behind and show you to the waiting room.

While you relax, Dr. Rosso takes the tissue to his lab. There he freezes the sample and cuts it into wafer thin slices. He uses a special dye that highlights cancerous cells. Then he looks at the tissue under the microscope. His goal is to see where the healthy tissue meets the cancerous cells.

If he sees only healthy cells around the cut edge, he is done. He will stitch you up or bandage the area and send you home. If he still sees cancerous cells, he will ask you to return to the treatment area and remove another small sliver of tissue. He will repeat this process until he sees only healthy cells on the cut edge.

Why Mohs works best

From a patient’s point of view, one of the biggest advantages of Mohs surgery is that you’re done in a single day. There is no going home and waiting for test results. Dr. Rosso has checked your sample, and you’re assured to be cancer-free when you leave.

After treatment, your cancer is, in all likelihood, gone. The cure rate for cancer after Mohs surgery is 93-99% depending on the type of cancer you’re treating. Dr. Rosso is able to get cancer out at the roots while disturbing as little of the healthy surrounding tissue as possible. This reduces healing time while offering the best cosmetic outlook.

Who benefits from Mohs?

Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the most common cancers treated with Mohs surgery. Melanomas also respond well to Mohs. Because Mohs is such a low-risk procedure, it’s the treatment of choice for people dealing with poor immune systems, or those who have sensitivities to other medications.

People who are dealing with other illnesses, such as lymphoma, leukemia or HIV, are also protected with this minimally invasive treatment.

Since scar tissue looks different than normal skin to the naked eye, it can be difficult to find the edges of skin cancer that develops on a scar. Because Dr. Rosso removes thin slices of tissue and stains each layer, Mohs surgery is the best way to treat any form of skin cancer on a scar.

How to decide if Mohs surgery is right for you

Your first step is to call Dr. Chappell or Dr. Rosso to check your skin. It’s a good idea to check your skin periodically for signs of cancer, and let the doctors know if you’re not sure about something you find.

If the doctors are suspicious about something they see, their first step is to take a small sample to diagnose skin cancer. Once you have a diagnosis, you discuss whether Mohs is the right treatment option for you.

Call Chappell Rosso Dermatology and Laser & Aesthetic Center or book an appointment on this website if you would like to learn more about skin cancer treatments and getting your skin checked.

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