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Mohs Surgery & Skin Cancer

If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, you are not alone. More than 3.5 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the United States. A diagnosis of skin cancer is cause for concern, but is not necessarily life threatening if treated appropriately nor does it need to be disfiguring. There are several different types of skin cancer as well as different types of treatment for skin cancers.

Treatment is tailored to the cancer type, the location, and the patient’s needs and desires. If the skin cancer is early and shallow, we can offer a scraping and burning technique called electrodessication and curettage or excision. If the skin cancer is more aggressive, we offer Mohs Micrographic Surgery.

Mohs Micrographic Surgery is a state of the art technique of skin cancer removal used most commonly for basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. This advanced treatment offers the highest potential cure rate while minimizing the amount of healthy tissue removed which enhances the cosmetic outcome of the surgical procedure.

The cancer is removed from the patient in such a way that it can be processed in the onsite Mohs lab to reveal 99% of the margins. Dr. Betty Davis is both a Board Certified Dermatologist and a Fellowship Trained Mohs Surgeon. During the Mohs procedure, she acts as both the surgeon and the pathologist. After the tissue is processed in the onsite lab, Dr. Davis is able to examine the tissue under the microscope and trace out any roots that the cancer may have. These roots are not visible to the naked eye and can grow in any direction like roots of a tree. If roots of the cancer are found under the microscope, the tumor is mapped and another layer that coincides to the mapping of the tumor is removed from the patient. This process repeats until the tumor is completely removed.

Mohs Micrographic Surgery offers the highest cure rate (up to 99%), has the lowest chance of recurrence of the removed cancer, minimizes the potential for scarring, and offers the most precise means of skin cancer removal.

Mohs is offered on an outpatient basis and with local anesthesia. Dr. Fredrick Mohs developed the Mohs Micrographic technique in the 1930s while practicing in Wisconsin. This technique carries his name.