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 performs locally. Although Mohs training is available in more condensed courses, it is through a full fellowship that a physician is guided through at least 500 cases in no less than a year's time.
Dr. Cohen has received the extensive training, including a full fellowship in the American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology training site at Vancouver General Hospital. Additionally, he has shared his specialized experience with peers through a number of publications on reconstruction of skin cancer defects.
Mohs surgery, which originated back in the 1930s for the removal and examination of lesions and tumors, 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, something not possible with traditional excision.
- Mohs allows for immediate microscopic evaluation of excised tissue.
- A 99% cure rate for most new cancers, and a 95-95% cure rate for recurring cancers.
- Allowing 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 there are non-malignant forms of skin cancers, and all skin cancer can be treated successfully when caught early. 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, more if you are at a higher risk for developing skin cancer, or have had skin cancer in the past.
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.