Mohs micrographic surgery has been proven as one of the most effective skin cancer treatments. As a result, your dermatologist may have recommended it to you. Here's why they may have recommended it if you have melanoma.
One of the most important reasons Mohs micrographic surgery is recommended for melanoma treatment is that it preserves much more healthy tissue than a traditional excision. The reason for this is the unique surgical procedure that Mohs surgery follows. After a local anaesthetic is administered, a licensed surgeon will systematically begin removing very thin layers of tissue from the surgical site. Each layer is then sent to an on-site lab for testing. This process continues until the tissue samples come back from the lab showing only healthy cells. With this surgical method, it's possible to be extremely precise in which tissue your surgeon removes and how much. Needless to say if you're worried about what you've seen of traditional excisions, Mohs offers a much more strategic approach. It may mean a longer procedure, but preserving your healthy tissue is worth it.
When you have skin cancer, you don't really get a choice in where and how it develops on your body. While someone in your family may have had skin cancer on their arm, you could be less fortunate and have melanoma in a much more sensitive area of the body. Some of these areas include hands, feet, face, ears, nose, around the eyes, mouth, and genitals. When you need skin cancer treatment in any of these areas, it's important to preserve as much function as possible. A treatment that helps preserve function in sensitive areas means that people who work with their hands can continue their work. Someone with a fear of going blind may be able to keep their vision. And sensitive areas don't just need to maintain their function, either. In some cases, aesthetics plays a role in skin cancer treatment. Consider melanoma occurring on the lips, nose, or near the eyes. These, and any area on the face, are all highly visible to the public. In such cases, your dermatologist may recommend Mohs to preserve that tissue for cosmetic reasons. And fortunately, Mohs can do just that if melanoma is present in any sensitive areas.
If you're investing in regular skin cancer screenings -- which should occur every year for maximum effectiveness -- your dermatologist may catch melanoma in its earliest stage. This is extremely fortunate because at this stage, melanoma is the most treatable. It hopefully doesn't lay too far beneath the outermost layers of your skin, which means Mohs will be highly effective at treating it. When you're seeing a dermatologist regularly for skin cancer screenings, they'll be able to recommend treatments early on enough that Mohs will likely be the most effective at stopping melanoma in its tracks.
If you're concerned about melanoma and you have questions or want to set up a skin cancer screening, contact SE Dermatology Specialists today.