Mohs surgery is a surgical method used to treat skin cancer. It is usually done in either an operating room or in a physician's office that has a lab nearby. When this procedure is performed, layers of the cancerous skin are removed surgically and then studied under a microscope. The process is repeated until no cancerous skin cells remain in the skin. Many skin cancer patients prefer to have this type of treatment instead of going through chemotherapy and radiation to get rid of skin cancer. These are some of the reasons that Mohs surgery is often preferred.
It Is Very Precise
One benefit of having skin cancer treated by Mohs surgery is that it is a very precise procedure. As each thin layer of cancerous skin is removed and viewed under the microscope, the surgeon can see how much closer they are to removing all of the cancer. If the cancerous skin has an uneven border or a jagged edge, this procedure allows the surgeon to be more accurate in removing all of the cancer because they are able to study the skin under the microscope after removing it. If the surgeon sees that they need to go deeper or wider with their incisions, this can be done when removing the next layer of skin.
All of the Cancer Can Be Removed
With chemotherapy and radiation treatments, there is always a chance that not all of the cancerous skin cells will be removed. Once tests are done to determine if all the cancer is gone, it may be necessary to have a second round of chemotherapy and radiation to ensure all the cancer is removed. However, with the Mohs surgery process, the surgeon does not stop removing layers of skin from the cancerous area until they are able to see a layer of skin that has no cancer cells at all. When all of the cancer has been removed, there is less chance that it will come back in the same area in the future.
Less Damage to Healthy Skin
Mohs surgery is also less damaging to the healthy skin that is surrounding the cancerous cells, especially when compared to radiation. It is not uncommon for radiation treatments to also burn and damage healthy skin during the process of killing cancerous skin cells. Mohs surgery is a safer alternative because once the surgeon sees that only healthy skin remains, the procedure is finished.
It Can Be Done on More Noticeable Areas of Skin
Treating skin cancer by Mohs surgery can also be performed on areas of the skin that are more easily seen by the public. Even if a patient has skin cancer cells on the face, this procedure is ideal because less damage to healthy skin occurs than by radiation treatments.
If the surgeon must make somewhat deep or large incisions to remove all of the skin cancer, he may also perform skin grafts to correct the appearance of the wound and help it heal properly during the Mohs surgery procedure.
To learn more about Mohs surgery, contact a dermatologist near you.