Mohs Surgery: The 99% Effective Skin Cancer Treatment
Posted on 05/22/2014 on behalf of Dr. Kenrick Spence, M.D., F.A.C.S.
By: Jeffrey B. Stricker
I've devoted much of my career to the prevention, detection, and treatment of skin cancer. It's one of my passions and is one of the reasons I decided to pursue the extensive training needed to specialize in Mohs surgery for skin cancer. At Hillcrest Dermatology & Plastic Surgery, I serve alongside cosmetic surgeon Dr. Kenrick Spence to treat our Orlando patients' complete array of health and beauty needs, and Mohs surgery is one of my most effective tools.
As a dermapathologist, I've had the opportunity to create 4 Mohs surgery pathology labs in my career, performed about 22,000 Mohs procedures and reviewed more than 100,000 dermatopathology slides.
Mohs surgery is a precise procedure that clinical studies show has a 5-year cure rate of nearly 99% for newly diagnosed skin cancers and a cure rate of 95% for recurrent cancers. Named after Frederic Mohs, who pioneered the surgery, the procedure requires physicians to complete specialized training to be qualified as a Mohs surgeon.
What makes Mohs surgery unique in treating skin cancer is that it's designed to spare as much healthy tissue as possible surrounding the cancerous area for functional and cosmetic purposes. Through a careful and precise process, a surgeon removes the visible portion of the skin cancer and a small layer of surrounding skin. The surgeon then divides this tissue into sections and examines them using a microscope to check for evidence of cancer cells. If diseased cells remain, the process is repeated until no cancer cells are seen during the microscopic examination.
Although this delicate process can take several hours, its effectiveness and the limited scarring that results makes it an excellent treatment for patients with skin cancer on their eyelids, noses, ears, hands, or necks.
Working with Dr. Spence at our Hillcrest dermatology and plastic surgery in Orlando and The Villages, I'm able offer patients throughout the region the opportunity to learn more about Mohs surgery.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness month and is an excellent time to schedule an appointment for a thorough skin exam at our offices. You can also call us at (407) 999-2585 to set up an appointment. Check back at this blog soon to learn more about skin cancer as our series shifts to focus on prevention.