We’ve talked a lot about the truth of skin cancer, the importance of protecting yourself from the sun and prevention tactics this month but what about treatment? The fact is that 1-in-5 Americans will suffer from skin cancer during their lifetime.
While understanding ways to be proactive in the fight is very important, being knowledgeable in ways to treat skin cancer is also important. Being aware of your options and choices is integral to battling any type of cancer.
With that being said we are lucky to have two highly skilled mohs surgeons on our Germain team- Dr. Germain and Dr. McGowan. Mohs Surgery is the most effective treatment option for skin cancers with a 99% cure rate! This surgery is a tissue-sparing technique, done layer by layer, examining 100 percent of the tumor margin in order to trace out the cancer using a microscope.
“The benefits of Mohs surgery are twofold: One, you’re going to remove just the cells you need to without having to take a lot of unnecessary tissue, and two, Mohs surgery can tout cure rates of 99 percent,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologist and Mohs surgeon in New York City and the director of dermatologic surgery at New York Medical College.
By using this technique surgeons can check each layer for roots. Once the roots are no longer visible doctors can be sure the tumor is entirely removed. Mohs surgery is most often used to treat basal and squamous cell cancers, but in certain cases is also effective for the treatment of Melanoma (like in Hayley’s case discussed earlier this month).
You'll notice in the before and afters provided by Dr. McGowan that scarring is very minimal, an important factor since a large percentage of skin cancers are found on the face, ears and scalp.
Dr. McGowan IV is a board certified dermatologist specializing in Mohs Micrographic and Dermatologic Surgery. He obtained his fellowship in Mohs Microhraphic Skin Cancer Surgery at the Dayton Skin Surgery Center in Dayton, Ohio. He has written countless articles on the technique, advancements and importance of Mohs Surgery.