About 3.3 million Americans are diagnosed with basal and squamous cell carcinomas every year.
Dealing with skin cancer is scary, but if you have a rare type of cancer, it can be an even more intimidating diagnosis. It’s one of those things that is extremely common, yet many people don’t think it’ll ever happen to them.
The good news is, however, that we can treat many skin cancer types with Mohs procedure. This is a medical procedure that your dermatologist can help you with if you’re dealing with certain types of skin cancer.
But, what is Mohs Surgery, and would you be considered a good candidate for the procedure? If you’re looking for the answers to these questions, keep reading below to learn what you need to know.
What Is Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is a specific type of dermatologic surgery. It’s used in certain cases to treat skin cancer, but not all skin cancer patients would benefit from the procedure.
In this procedure, the surgeon will remove layers of skin and examine them under a microscope to see if they can spot any cancerous cells. They continue this process until there is a layer that shows no cancer. Individuals that perform this procedure are specifically trained to read the slides and map their findings in a surgical site.
Other Information About the Procedure
The main goal of Mohs surgery is to decrease the likelihood that cancer will grow back and preserve the healthy skin as much as possible. A good surgeon is also going to make sure that the cosmetic appearance and function of the skin are focused on as well.
A person having Mohs surgery will have local anesthesia, but the entire procedure will last several hours. The process is on an outpatient basis, however, so the patient will be able to return home.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
This procedure is considered standard for squamous cell carcinomas or early-stage basal cell carcinomas on the neck or head. It also is the treatment used for other rare skin cancer types.
You may be a good candidate if you:
- Have recurring skin cancer
- Have rapidly growing tumors
- Have tumors without defined borders
- Want to preserve your healthy tissue
Of course, your dermatologic surgeon is going to be the best person to tell you whether or not you’ll be a good candidate for this procedure. Your doctor will also help you in preparation for Mohs surgery before scheduling your procedure.
Is Mohs Surgery Right for You?
Now that we have answered the question “what is Mohs Surgery?” and discussed the best patient for it, you may be interested in talking to your doctor about the procedure.
In some cases, you may find that your skin cancer can be cured with the help of this technique, and if not cured, you’ll be able to work with your doctor to figure out what other options are available.
Did you find this information useful? If so, be sure to take a look at some of our other health-related topics next.