What Types of Skin Cancer Can Mohs Surgery Treat?

 What Types of Skin Cancer Can Mohs Surgery Treat?

A skin cancer diagnosis can be shocking news. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available to remove the cancerous cells. Mohs micrographic surgery is one of the most advanced surgical dermatology methods available. This guide will break down the basics of Mohs surgery and what it treats.

What Is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs micrographic surgery is a procedure in which a dermatologist removes thin layers of skin one at a time. They do so while looking at the skin under a microscope. During the process, the surgeon is able to see when they’ve removed all of the cancerous tissue. This precision allows them to preserve as much healthy skin as possible. Many experts consider Mohs surgery to be the most effective treatment for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which are two of the most common forms of skin cancer.

What Can It Treat?

Dermatologists use Mohs surgery to remove various types of cancers. This surgical method has a high cure rate. The following are the main conditions that this condition can remove.

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): This condition is the most common type of cancer in humans and also makes up the majority of skin cancer diagnoses. BCC develops in the basal epidermis layer, which is the top layer of the skin. It’s not melanoma and generally doesn’t spread.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): Another common type of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma is generally caused by sun exposure. It’s mostly found on the face, head, and neck. If not treated early, it can spread to other parts of the body.
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DFSP): This type of skin cancer develops in the inner layers of the skin. It’s a rare disease and often appears on the torso, arms, legs, neck, and head. This condition typically doesn’t spread to other parts of the body, but it can reach surrounding muscle, fat, and bone.
  • Extramammary Paget’s Disease (EMPD): A rare type of skin cancer, EMPD usually appears on the genital and anal areas as lesions. It develops slowly and can be tricky to diagnose. EMPD is most common in postmenopausal women.
  • Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC): This form of skin cancer is rare and can be aggressive. It often occurs due to sun exposure and mostly in people over 50.
  • Melanoma: Melanoma is a dangerous type of skin cancer that forms in the melanocytes in the upper layer of the skin. It can appear as a mole or on normal skin. This condition is treatable if caught early, but it can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.

If your dermatologist diagnoses you with any of the above forms of skin cancer, Mohs surgery may be a treatment option. Keep in mind that it’s important to discuss your diagnosis and potential treatments in detail with your doctor. They will inform you of potential side effects and what to expect from your course of treatment.

What Other Skin Cancer Treatments Are Available?

A surgical dermatology specialist will recommend treatment based on your specific diagnosis. In some cases, surgical excisions and shave excisions are effective for removing the affected area. Other types of surgery include curettage, electrodesiccation, laser surgery, dermabrasion and cryosurgery.

In some cases, dermatologists will recommend radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and other forms of drug therapy as treatment. These types of therapies may be necessary if the cancer has spread beyond the skin. Some patients may also require more than one type of treatment.

If you were recently diagnosed with skin cancer and would like to discuss Mohs surgery, contact the team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists. Our experts are skilled in surgical dermatology and are trained to use Mohs surgery as treatment. We serve patients in Carson, Long Beach, Seal Beach, Torrance, Downey, and Montebello, CA, so you can find a convenient office close to you.

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