(WYTV)- Doctors will diagnose nearly five million people in this country with some form of skin cancer this year.
That’s basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and some types of melanoma.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S., and with different forms and conditions, doctors have different treatments. One is called Mohs surgery named for a surgeon who developed it.
“MOHS surgery is a technique used to treat skin cancers, especially in areas of the skin that are considered high-risk or cosmetically sensitive,” said Dr. Naiara Barbosa of the Mayo Clinic.
Those would cover the face, scalp, ears, and neck. With Mohs surgery, physicians remove skin around a tumor without removing large amounts of healthy tissue. Then immediately, lab technicians process the specimens and place them onto slides for the physician to examine under a microscope.
If the doctor has to go deeper or wider, she can. The procedure happens under local anesthesia and can take a few hours as the physician checks more samples around the affected area.
In this way we can spare as much healthy skin as possible and be sure of the highest cure rate so there’s less chance of that tumor ever coming back.