Understanding the Mohs surgery procedure in Englewood/South Denver and Lone Tree
Skin cancer is a serious, potentially life threatening problem, which is unfortunately common. However, with today’s advanced medicine, we have several options for treating skin cancer. The success of treatment varies, depending on several factors, including the type of cancer and how advanced it is. For the most challenging cases, Mohs surgery is recommended. Why? Mohs is a precision technique, utilizing a unique procedure to achieve the highest cure rate of any cancer treatment available.
A different approach
Traditional cancer removal procedures utilize various techniques, such as cutting, freezing, scraping, and cauterizing, but they all operate on the same basic principle. The physician examines the tumor, determines how extensive it is, and then removes it. Unfortunately, that approach is dependent upon the physician accurately estimating the extent of the cancer. The Mohs technique takes the guesswork out of cancer surgery.
Rather than attempting to remove the entire cancer at once, the Mohs surgeon removes only a thin layer of tissue. That layer is then tested, and the precise location of cancer cells is mapped. Another thin layer of tissue is removed, from only the area that showed cancer cells. It is tested, and the process is repeated until the final sample shows no more cancer. You might expect the process to take weeks, but it is completed in a single visit, because the surgeon also acts as the pathologist, using advanced technology to test the sample right in the office.
Benefits of Mohs Surgery
Mohs is usually recommended over other methods in two situations:
- Aggressive cancers – Specific types of cancer spread much more quickly, making it difficult for a doctor to guess how deep it is. Additionally, large cancers and those that have returned after treatment are especially challenging. In these situations, the precision and verification of Mohs are invaluable.
- Cosmetically sensitive cancers – In some situations, a doctor may be able to guess the size of the cancerous area with reasonable accuracy, but it is not precise. Therefore, a certain amount of presumed-healthy tissue is removed around the cancer as a safety measure. If it is located on your face, hands, or other highly visible area, you will want the smallest possible scar, which is achieved with Mohs.
Due to the complexity of the procedure, it requires exceptional skill and training to perform it properly. Dr. Joel Cohen is an experienced Mohs Surgeon, and he is among the select few who have been fellowship-trained through the respected Mohs College. You can schedule a consultation with him at our Englewood/South Denver or Lone Tree location by calling 303.756.(7546).