Our skin is the largest organ on our body, and as such, it is exposed to a number of factors that may impact health. Current data shows that as many as 1 in 5 Americans will experience skin cancer at some point in his or her life. In areas such as our beautiful Colorado, where we spend ample time outdoors in the high altitude, the instance of skin cancer is even higher.
Should you encounter skin cancer, your main priority is a successful diagnosis of type, and successful removal. To facilitate the most precise diagnosis, we send our slides out to third-party pathologists who are well-known national authorities on skin cancer. This step is taken because there are only a handful of dermatologists who are full fellowship-trained in the cutting edge procedure of Mohs surgery, which Dr. Cohen and Dr. Jensen perform at our Greenwood Village office. Although Mohs training is available in very condensed courses, it is only through a full American College of Mohs Surgery fellowship, like Dr. Cohen and Dr. Jensen completed, that a physician is guided through at least 500 cases in no less than a year’s time.
Dr. Cohen and Dr. Jensen have both received the extensive training of the American College of Mohs Surgery in the removal of skin cancer, histologic evaluation of skin cancer tissue as well as reconstruction of the defect in the skin. They are both trained in the most innovative strategies for scar minimization techniques. Both Dr. Cohen and Dr. Jensen have published peer-reviewed scientific articles on skin cancer and reconstructive strategies. In addition, Dr. Cohen has co-authored a Blackwell-Wiley academic textbook on facial skin cancer reconstruction.
Mohs surgery is different than the traditional form of excision in a few ways, including:
- Mohs is a conservative treatment designed to remove skin cancer while largely leaving surrounding healthy tissue intact.
- Allows for the viewing of 100% of the margins of a lesion (much like viewing the entire crust of a pie), something not possible with traditional excision (where bread-loaf slices of tissue has a higher risk of missing intervening tumor between those slices).
- Mohs allows for immediate microscopic evaluation of excised tissue.
- A 99% cure rate for most new cancers (such as basal cell carcinoma), and a 90-95% cure rate for recurring cancers.
- Allows for same-day reconstruction in many cases.
Skin cancer is a term that evokes feelings of anxiety in most people. But the truth of the matter is that when diagnosed early and with selection of the right treatment, skin cancer can be a highly treatable cancer. So, although you may practice sun protection on a regular basis, it is also beneficial to visit our office for skin checks at least once every year, but more frequently if you have a personal or family history of skin cancer.
Now, more than ever, we have the information and the tools necessary to help us more quickly diagnose and treat skin cancer. Contact us to schedule your comprehensive skin evaluation with one of our highly skilled physicians at AboutSkin Dermatology.