Mohs surgery is a precise surgical technique used to treat skin cancer. The goal of Mohs surgery is to remove as much of the skin cancer as possible, while doing minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue. Mohs surgery is usually done on an out-patient basis using a local anesthetic.
Mohs surgery is an improvement to standard surgery, which involves removing the visible cancer and a small margin of healthy tissue all at once. Mohs surgery allows surgeons to verify that all cancer cells have been removed at the time of surgery. This increases the chance of a cure and reduces the need for additional treatments or additional surgery.
Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma begins in the basal cells – a type of cell within the skin that produces new skin cells as old ones die off.
Basal cell carcinoma often appears as a waxy bump, though it can take other forms. Basal cell carcinoma occurs most often on areas of the skin that are often exposed to the sun, such as your face and neck.
Most basal cell carcinomas are thought to be caused by long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight. Avoiding the sun and using sunscreen may help protect against basal cell carcinoma.
Squamous cell carcinoma is a common form of skin cancer that develops in the thin, flat squamous cells that make up the outer layer of the skin.
Squamous cell carcinoma is usually not life-threatening, though it can be aggressive in some cases. Untreated, squamous cell carcinoma can grow large or spread to other parts of your body, causing serious complications.
Most squamous cell carcinomas result from prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, either from sunlight or from tanning beds or lamps. Avoiding UV light helps reduce your risk of squamous cell carcinoma and other forms of skin cancer.
Mohs surgery has many advantages, but it is not necessarily the right treatment for everyone who has skin cancer. A dermatologist considers many factors before determining which treatment will be best for each patient. These factors include the type of skin cancer, whether the cancer has spread, and where the skin cancer appears on the body.