Mohs Surgery – The Most Effective Skin Cancer Treatment Available - Westchester Center For Dermatology
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Mohs Surgery – The Most Effective Skin Cancer Treatment Available

Published on October 16, 2014

Though procedures for skin cancer continue to evolve, Mohs micrographic surgery has become the most widely accepted form of treatment. The therapeutic technique is extremely effective in eliminating basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Using Mohs surgery, carries a cure rate of approximately 98 percent.

What to expect from Mohs Surgery to treat skin cancer

The procedure begins much like other typical treatment methods with a skin cancer dermatologist cutting out the suspected tissue from the skin. The Mohs difference lies in the fact that the tissue then immediately undergoes careful microscopic examination that evaluates the edges of the tissue removed. If the margins of the specimen appear free of malignant cells, the procedure ends and the wound is closed. However, if the tissue reveals cancer cells throughout, the physician must remove more tissue to ensure that the entire cancer is eliminated.

In this way, the scrutiny of visualizing the tissue under the microscope eliminates the guess work of trying to estimate the depth and width of the malignancy. The gradual removal process also spares as much healthy, non-affected tissue as possible. If cancerous cells lie only at the surface, there is no need for a patient to endure a deep surgical wound and subsequent scarring. Conversely, a lesion that appears as a shallow growth may in fact harbor abnormal cells further beneath the surface. If not completely removed, the cancer continues reproducing and may metastasize. Another benefit of performing this type of procedure includes the fact that within a few hours’ time, cancer is totally eliminated.

What you should know about Mohs surgery in NYC

Mohs micrographic surgery is a time-consuming process, as the patient must wait between evaluation steps before the surgeon decides whether more tissue requires removal or the procedure is complete. After each step of removing tissue, the physician marks the sample as part of a mapping technique, which indicates original location. The tissue is then separated into paper thin strips and the dermatologist assesses each layer. If edges display malignancy, the mapping guides surgeons to the exact location where more tissue needs removal. The skin cancer surgeon meticulously repeats these steps that ensure a patient is cancer free.