You hear the word “cancer,” and your first thought is that you want it gone, which often means cutting it out. Excision is often the first, and best, approach, when it comes to cancer, which is certainly true of skin cancer. Unfortunately, this approach often sacrifices healthy tissue at the same time in an effort to ensure that the cancer was fully eradicated.
To combat this collateral damage and improve your results, our own Dr. Khongruk Wongkittiroch here at Z-Roc Dermatology underwent extensive training in Mohs surgery so that we can offer a more precise and advanced technique for eliminating skin cancer. In fact, Dr. Wongkittiroch is a fellow of the American Society of Mohs Surgery, which means she has the experience and expertise needed to perform this highly effective, tissue-sparing technique.
If you want to say goodbye to skin cancer while preserving your healthier skin, read on to learn more about Mohs surgery.
A minimal and methodical approach to skin cancer
As we mentioned, when it comes to cancer of any kind, the primary goal is to excise the dangerous tissues and cells from your body to prevent them from spreading. Traditionally, this meant that when you presented with skin cancer, your provider would cut out the affected tissues, plus a large enough margin to make sure that all the cancer was successfully eradicated.
While effective, this approach to skin cancer often led to considerable tissue damage and scarring, which is where Mohs surgery comes in.
Mohs surgery is a technique in which we remove your tissue, one thin layer and small section at a time, and then analyze the tissue under a microscope as we go. As we progress, we remove individual layers and sections until we reach cancer-free tissue, at which point we can stop removing tissue.
If Mohs surgery sounds thorough and painstaking, it is, but your patience is rewarded as we’re able to cut away only the cancerous tissue and spare healthy tissue.
While Mohs surgery is lauded for its ability to spare healthy tissue, this detailed technique for removing skin cancer is also more thorough and exact. With older techniques, doctors had to estimate the involvement of the cancer, while Mohs surgery provides us with a more precise picture.
In fact, Mohs surgery offers an impressive cure rate — up to 99% for previously untreated skin cancer and 94% for recurring skin cancer.
While we’ve been using the term “skin cancer,” more specifically, we use Mohs surgery to effectively treat the two most common forms of skin cancer — basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas — as well as certain melanomas.
Treating cancer in one procedure
Another benefit of Mohs surgery is that we can usually remove your cancer in just one visit. Granted, it’s one long visit, but since we’re examining your tissues as we go, we’re reducing the need for follow-up biopsies to ensure that we removed all of the cancer.
If you have more questions about Mohs surgery and whether you’re a candidate, your first step is to contact our office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, so you can schedule a consultation with Dr. Wongkittiroch.