What is Mohs micrographic surgery?

Mohs micrographic surgery is a highly specialized skin cancer treatment performed in a physician’s office in which the physician serves as surgeon, pathologist and reconstructive surgeon. It relies on the precision and accuracy of a microscope to trace out and ensure removal of skin cancer—all the way down to its roots.

Why choose Mohs surgery over other types of skin cancer treatment?

  • Mohs treatment offers a high cure rate, up to 99 percent for certain types of skin cancer;
  • Mohs surgery is a very exact and precise means of skin cancer removal with minimal damage to surrounding tissues;
  • Mohs micrographic surgery minimizes the potential for scarring or disfigurement;
  • Mohs surgery has shown to be more cost-effective than most other skin cancer treatments.

    Mohs surgery is especially beneficial and effective when:
  • the cancer is large;
  • the edges of the cancer cannot be clearly defined;
  • prior treatment has failed;
  • the cancer is located in a cosmetically sensitive or functionally critical area of the body (such as eyelids, nose, ears, or lips).

Is skin cancer common?

  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in his or her lifetime.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control, skin cancer is the most common and rapidly increasing form of cancer in the United States.

What are signs of skin cancer?

The following signs should be promptly investigated:

  • a new skin growth that does not disappear in four to six weeks;
  • any skin lesion that continues to grow and turns red, brown, black or is multicolored;
  • a mole, birthmark or beauty mark that increases in size, changes color or texture, or becomes irregular in outline;
  • an open sore or wound that refuses to heal, persists for more than four weeks or heals and later reopens;
  • any skin spot or growth that continues to itch, hurt, crust over, form a scab, becomes a sore or bleeds for several weeks.

When should I take action ?

If you have any of the mentioned symptoms, you should see your physician as soon as possible. For more information about Mohs surgery and a list of accredited Mohs surgeons, you can call the American College of Mohs Surgery at (800) 500-7224 or visit the College’s Web site at www.mohscollege.org.