In recent years, Mohs surgery has been growing in popularity-- and when we say growing, we mean booming! Time and time again Mohs micrographic surgery has proven to be the best technique for various skin cancers. This procedure has one of the highest success rates among the growing pool of treatment options. So the question is, will Mohs work for you? Let’s take a minute to discuss the conditions treated by Mohs and see if you’re a good candidate. Please keep in mind that this is general information that can only be used to determine candidacy in a wide sense. Everyone's conditions are unique and have varying factors that may qualify or disqualify you as a candidate for Mohs surgery. Please discuss your specific condition with a licensed professional to determine your personal eligibility
Mohs micrographic surgery is a surgical procedure typically used to clear away skin cancer cells from an infected area of the body. During the procedure, a surgeon surgically removes layers of cancer-infected tissue from the skin and takes it to be examined while the patient waits. The tissue is then examined and evaluated to see if the surgeon successfully removed enough layers of infected tissue so that the cancer is cleared from the patient. If not, the surgeon returns and removes another layer, sends it to be checked, and cleared. This continues until all of the cancer has been removed and there is no longer any cancer present in the examined tissue. The repeated check for remaining cancer is why Mohs surgery is so successful. It ensures that all of the cancer cells are completely removed from the patient layer by layer.
Mohs surgery is mostly used to treat skin cancer like basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), sebaceous carcinoma, microcystic adrenal carcinoma (MAC), and melanoma.
There are several factors that determine good eligibility for Mohs:
Mohs is a good option for those who have persistent skin cancer. The treatment of Mohs can minimize the number of recurrences as it completely removes all cancer cells. It’s important to note that Mohs is typically only used to treat skin cancer and not other forms of cancer. Since Mohs involves the manual removal of infected tissue, it can only treat conditions that affect the skin. For example, if you have a type of cancer that infects the bone or lymph nodes, Mohs surgery won’t be able to cut deep enough to remove the cancer cells. In other words, the cancer needs to be accessible.
Fast-growing cancers are perfect for Mohs, as its efficiency keeps the cancer from being able to spread. However, early detection is the most important qualification of Mohs candidacy. When skin cancer is discovered late, it has likely spread to expand the infected area or even spread to somewhere unreachable like bones or organs. Getting the Mohs procedure done early ensures that the surgeon can access and clear away all of the cancer.
Other treatments have a hard time treating skin cancer with uneven borders, as some cells may be left untreated. However, Mohs surgery allows all cells to be cut away. Nonetheless, it is important for those borders to be clear so that the surgeon can easily see where the infected tissue ends and healthy tissue begins.
If you’re in Cincinnati, Ohio and suffering from skin cancer, our experts at The Dermatology Group can help you weigh your options regarding Mohs surgery. Give us a call and book a consultation today!