Why Mohs Surgery is Still the Gold Standard for Skin Cancer
The most common cancer in the United States is skin cancer. When caught early on, skin cancer is 99% curable. The two most common forms of skin cancer are basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), both of which can be treated with Mohs Micrographic Surgery. Mohs Surgery is the treatment of choice for many BCCs and SCCs because of the procedure’s effectiveness, precision, and delivers the best cosmetic results (Arielle N.B. Kauvar, n.d.).
Mohs Surgery is done in one surgery, with lab work and cancer removal process completed in stages. Read more about the stages of Mohs Surgery here. The process ends when evidence of cancer is no longer visible at the surgical site. Mohs Surgery removes all cancerous cells achieving the highest cure rate, up to 99% for primary BCC, while conserving the greatest amount of healthy tissue with a minimal scar.
Benefits of Mohs Surgery
Benefits of Mohs Surgery is that the patient is treated in an effective, single treatment.
Outpatient, single surgery with lab work completed all at once
100% of tumor margins are examined by your physician
Spares the most healthy tissue possible
Leaves the smallest scar possible
Mohs Surgery is the ideal treatment for skin cancers that:
Are found in scar tissue
Are quickly growing
Develop on areas where preserving cosmetic appearance and function are important
Do not have easily identifiable edges
Recur after previous treatments or are likely to recur
Mohs Surgery has been considered the gold standard because it is the most effective technique for removing BCCs and SCCs. Mohs Surgery offers precise removal of microscopic cancer “roots”, which is crucial in SCCs due to their higher likelihood of metastasizing compared to BCCs (The Skin Cancer Foundation). According to Dr. Kauvar’s article, Mohs surgery had not been widely used for melanomas until recently, as a growing body of evidence suggests that the Mohs procedure is safe and effective for both in situ and invasive melanoma (Arielle N.B. Kauvar, n.d.).
Dr. Weyer did an awesome job taking care of my mother-in-law. We have been very impressed with the amount of care, attention, and skill that she has received! Thank you!
If a patient has multiple medical co-morbidities and is in poor health, they may not be a good candidate for Mohs Surgery and may choose to treat their cancer with radiation. If the patient is healthy enough to undergo and recover from surgery, Mohs Surgery is the gold standard with the lowest recurrence rates and highest cure rates of skin cancer.
Mohs Surgery Requires Special Training
When treating cancer, the highest standards of quality should be utilized. Which is why the American College of Mohs Surgery is the only organization that requires an extensive fellowship of one year or more with hands-on Mohs Surgery training supervised by a highly experienced instructor. Finding a fellowship trained Mohs Surgeon ensures that the necessary skill and competencies are met to treat the patient.
Dermatology & Plastic Surgery of Arizona was the first in southern Arizona to offer Board-Certified physicians in dermatology, plastic surgery, and fellowship trained Mohs surgery in one location. Founded by Board-Certified Dermatologist and fellowship trained Mohs Surgeon Dr. Christopher Weyer and Board-Certified female Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon Dr. Jamie Moenster. Our surgeons are trained in different disciplines and work collaboratively to optimize your skin cancer surgery and reconstruction. Schedule your consultation today, call our Tucson location at 520-207-3100 or our Sierra Vista location at 520-458-1787.
Arielle N.B. Kauvar, MD (n.d.). Mohs Surgery. Retrieved November 17, 2020, from The Skin Cancer Foundation: https://www.skincancer.org/treatment-resources/mohs-surgery/mohs-the-gold-standard/
The Skin Cancer Foundation. (n.d.). Treatment Glossary. Retrieved November 16, 2020, from The Skin Cancer Foundation: https://www.skincancer.org/treatment-resources/treatment-glossary/#mohs-micrographic-surgery