Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, but it’s also one of the most curable. There are a number of treatment options for skin cancer, but Mohs Surgery is the most effective. This highly specialized skin cancer treatment is quick, relatively painless, and results in minimal scarring. Sometimes referred to as the gold standard in skin cancer treatment, Mohs is among the treatments offered by Premier Dermatology and Mohs Surgery of Atlanta in Alpharetta, GA.
What Is Mohs Surgery?
During Mohs Surgery, the patient receives local anesthesia and the visible portion of the skin cancer tumor is removed. Next, the thin layer of skin that surrounded the tumor is removed and tested for cancer. If remaining cancer cells are found, another small section will be excised. The removal and evaluation of tiny layers of skin will continue until all of the cancer cells have been removed. Your physician will then reconstruct the treatment area and close the wound.
How Many Layers of Skin Will Be Removed?
It’s impossible to predict how many layers of skin will be removed because of the difficulty in gauging a tumor’s size. Skin cancer tumors usually have roots that extend outward and downward from the skin’s surface. That means the part of the tumor that is visible on the surface of the skin may be just the tip of the iceberg. Most Mohs surgeries, however, involve the removal of just one or two layers of skin.
What Can I Expect During Treatment?
On the day of your surgery, you’ll want to avoid wearing makeup. And because you’ll be waiting while the layers of skin are evaluated, it’s a good idea to keep your schedule fairly clear so that you’ve got plenty of time. Some patients even bring a book or some other form of reading material for those waiting periods. When it comes to the actual surgery, most patients are surprised at just how easy it is. The surgery site will be numb, so you’ll feel no discomfort during the procedure.
Will This Surgery Influence My Appearance?
Patients sometimes worry that the surgery will impact their appearance, but once the wound has completely healed, there will be no noticeable difference in the way you look.
What Is the Success Rate?
Developed by Dr. Frederick Mohs, Mohs Surgery has the highest rate of success of all the skin cancer treatments available. When it comes to treating basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, Mohs Surgery has a cure rate of 99%. It is also an effective treatment option for melanoma, the third type of skin cancer, though it’s important to seek treatment early for melanoma.
The precision involved with Mohs is what makes this form of treatment so successful. A Mohs procedure involves a careful examination of all the margins of a cancerous tumor, which ensures that every last bit of cancer is removed.
What Other Advantages Does Mohs Offer?
In addition to its high success rate, Mohs is a fairly quick procedure. The surgery takes place during a single appointment in our office, meaning patients are cancer-free by the time their treatment is complete. The speed of the treatment makes it convenient for the patient and eases anxiety. There are also cosmetic benefits associated with Mohs. Because the treatment removes only the cancerous cells and leaves the healthy tissue in place, scarring is minimized and there is little cosmetic impact.
Who Is a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
Mohs treatment is an especially good option for tumors on the face, feet, or in other areas where the skin is thin. Mohs is also a good option for aggressive or recurring cancers. Basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma cancers can all be treated with Mohs.
Is Mohs My Only Choice?
Although Mohs is the most successful skin cancer treatment, it’s not the only available option. You can also opt to have the tumor excised, which generally also involves the removal of some of the skin surrounding the tumor, even though that surrounding skin may not be cancerous. At-home chemotherapy treatment can be prescribed for patients. This type of treatment involves the topical application of drugs that kill off cancer. Liquid nitrogen can also be used to freeze skin cancer tumors, essentially causing them to fall off the body.
How Can I Spot Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer tumors in their early stages often appear as flat or raised spots that are pale, pink, or pearly in nature. In some cases, pre-cancerous lesions may be flesh-colored but scaly in appearance. Basal cell cancers are also prone to bleeding.
A change in the appearance of a mole is also a skin cancer warning sign. If you’re worried about an area of skin, it’s a good idea to have it evaluated by a dermatologist, who will conduct a visual examination and possibly a biopsy of the site. Avoiding tanning beds and sunburns are key to preventing skin cancer in the first place, as are routing screenings of your skin by a physician.
If you’ve been diagnosed with any of the three types of skin cancer and you’re in search of a treatment that is convenient, comfortable, and highly effective, Mohs may be just what you’re looking for. As a leader in melanoma treatment in the Atlanta area, we have the expertise to eradicate your cancer. Call Premier Dermatology and Mohs Surgery of Atlanta in Alpharetta, GA, and ask about Mohs Surgery