Skin cancer is a common type of cancer that afflicts over three million people every year for basal and squamous types alone. There are several varieties of skin cancer, and some people have more than one type.
Treated promptly and efficiently, skin cancer can be eradicated. Mohs surgery is one of the types of treatments used to treat the more common types of skin cancer and may be right for your needs. Read on to learn what Mohs surgery is, and ask your dermatologist about this surgical intervention to treat your skin cancer.
What Mohs surgery is
Mohs surgery is a less invasive skin cancer removal technique done on an outpatient basis. The procedure involves removing cancerous skin layer by layer, testing the skin removed until the cancer can no longer be detected.
While other methods of skin cancer removal involve taking both the cancerous skin and healthier skin around the cancer site, Mohs surgery is more precise and does as little damage to surrounding healthy tissue as possible.
What makes you a candidate
Becoming a candidate for this type of surgery usually depends on the type of skin cancer you have, where your skin cancer is located, and how aggressive your cancer has been up to this point. Mohs surgery is best for patients who have fast-growing tumors in their skin that need to be eradicated quickly or for patients who have skin cancers in areas of the body that need to have minimal scarring, like the face, hands, or feet.
Why consider Mohs surgery
If you have had skin cancer in the past and have a recurrence, you have skin cancer in a more visible or tender part of your body, or you have a skin tumor that has a less-defined border, then Mohs surgery can be right for you. Mohs surgery is also an outpatient procedure, so if you need to be in and out of surgery quickly, this makes this option more favorable to you as well.
There are many types of skin cancer treatments available, and Mohs surgery is just one of them, so speak to your dermatologist about your options before moving forward with this surgical procedure. Since people who have had skin cancer in the past are likely to have a recurrence, even with surgical intervention, it's wise to continue visiting your dermatologist regularly for mole and skin cancer checks. If you have questions about your skin health, write them down to share with your dermatologist at your next appointment.