Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world and more than 12 milion cases are diagnosed annually. One of every three cancers diagnosed is a skin cancer. The incidence of skin cancer in the U.S. is greater than breast, prostate, lung, and colon combined. Ninety percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers (basal cell skin cancer and squamous cell skin cancer) are asoociated with ultraviolet radiation and sun exposure. The incidence and consequences of skin cancer can be improved with education, behavior modification and early detection.

Mohs Surgery | Other Skin Cancer Treatment

Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery is a specialized type of skin cancer surgery that offers extremely high and superior cure rates. The tissue margins of the skin cancer are examined immediately in the office. This technique allows precise tumor clearance by the Mohs specialist and thus avoids taking too much healthy tissue. Mohs surgery is indicated for skin cancer of the head and neck area, previous treatment failure/recurrent skin cancer, aggressive, large, or unusual cancers (infiltrative basal cell skin cancers, skin cancers greater than 2cm, among others).

On the day of the surgery, after a local anesthetic, the skin cancer is excised with thin margins. The tissues is processed immediately in the office while the patient is in the waiting room (usually one hour). If the cancer is still present upon tissue examination, then another thin layer of tissue is taken. This process continues until the tumor is clear. The average patient requires just two layers, although this can vary from patient to patient. Once the cancer is clear, the surgeon will determine the best option for closure. These options include skin grafts and flaps and side-to-side closure.

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Other Skin Cancer Treatment

There are several treatment choices for the remaining skin cancers that are not indicated for Mohs Surgery. These options all have excellent cure rates and outcomes. Several of these options include surgical removal of the tumor (simple wedge excision), curettage and electro-dessication (tumor is scraped away and the area is cauterized), and radiation therapy. Dr. Kim will determine the appropriate treatment options based on the specific patient and type of tumor.

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