Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery and Facial Reconstructive Surgery
Although large skin cancers can be seen with the
naked eye, it takes a microscope to visualize cancer at the cellular
level. The only way to prevent recurrence of localized skin cancer
is to remove each and every cell; otherwise any remaining skin cancer
cells can reproduce and cause a regrowth of the cancer.
Mohs surgery is a specialized method to remove skin cancer.
It is named in honor of Frederick Mohs, the physician who developed
the technique. Mohs surgery differs from other methods of treating
skin cancer by the use of detailed mapping techniques and onsite
microscopic examination of the surgically removed skin. Mohs skin
cancer surgery allows for the tissue to be examined during the operation
through a microscope to ensure that all of the cancer cells have
been removed adequately, and that removal of healthy, cancer-free
tissue is minimized. Using the
Mohs microscopic surgery technique there is a 95% cure rate.
Mohs skin cancer surgery is then followed by careful reconstructive
surgery to repair the defect (hole) and to yield an aesthetically
According to the American Cancer Society, there will
be 1 million new cases of skin cancer this year, with the three
most common types of skin cancer being Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous
Cell Carcinoma and Malignant Melanoma. Basal Cell and Squamous Cell
Carcinomas are usually localized and rarely spread to other parts
of the body. When diagnosed and treated early, they are 95% curable.
Malignant Melanoma is more serious as it has a propensity to metastasize
(spread) to other areas of the body.
To reduce your risk of skin cancer, it is important
to minimize sun exposure, wear sun protection daily, have full body
skin examinations yearly (or more frequently if you have a personal
or family history of skin cancer) and to recognize the signs and
symptoms of skin cancer:
- Melanoma: Comprises 4% of
all skin cancers and usually appears as a dark lesion or mole
that has changed in appearance. Look for changes of the ABCDs
Asymmetry, irregular Border, Color
varied within the mole from one area to the other or black in
color, and increasing Diameter or diameter larger than
a pencil eraser.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma:
Comprises 16% of all skin cancers and is characterized by a rough,
flaky, red or pink patch of skin. At times these lesions can grow
very rapidly, and are more common in smokers.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma: The
most common skin cancer, comprising 80% of all skin cancers, it
is characterized by a raised red or brown lesion or patch, with
pearly, raised or rolled borders and an ulcerated raw or oozing
center. Basal Cell Carcinoma usually grows slowly, and is more
common in sun-exposed areas, such as the eyelids, ears, cheeks,
lips, neck, and hands.
Dr Hoenig performs Mohs skin cancer surgery in conjunction
with Dr. Robert Miller in Long Beach, California. Dr Miller is an
experienced dermatologist and Mohs surgeon, who has been working
with Dr Hoenig for the past 9 years. If you are interested in learning
more about Mohs skin cancer surgery and facial reconstructive surgery,
please feel free to contact
us for more information or call the Long Beach office at 562.420.8333.
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