An Alternative to Mohs Surgery for Skin Cancer Treatment
For nearly 90 years, Mohs Surgery has been the procedure of choice for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Originally developed in the 1930’s by Dr. Frederick Mohs, it has been used to treat many kinds of skin cancer.
Mohs surgery, also known as chemosurgery, is a highly specialized microscopic procedure for the removal of skin cancer in which the affected lesion of skin is excised in its entirety utilizing frozen section histology. This procedure is designed to minimize the amount of tissue excised, leading to less scarring than other treatments. There are three surgical steps to Mohs surgery, including the surgical removal of the visible portion of skin cancer with excision or scraping, the surgical removal of a thin layer of tissue at the bed of the cancer, and examination of the excised tissue microscopically in order to trace out and locate any remaining areas of cancer.
Despite the benefits of Mohs surgery, there are no procedures without some drawbacks. Mohs surgery is very laborious and time consuming, and it requires specialized training, support personnel and equipment. Some patients may not be able to tolerate the length of the Mohs procedure and in some cases, healthy tissue may be compromised during surgery. Patients undergoing Mohs surgery may also experience scarring or infection.