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Mohs/Skin Cancer

Downey dermatologist explains what you need to know about Mohs surgery and skin cancer

In the United States there are 3.5 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year. Of these cases, there are three different kinds of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. While each variation of skin cancer is slightly different they can all be treated using the Mohs method of micrographic surgery, a popular, safe, and effective method of removing skin cancer.

The Mohs procedure has been used since the 1930s to remove cancerous lesions while leaving the healthy surrounding tissue unharmed. Dr. Douglas Blose has been helping patients with skin cancer find positive outcomes for many years. As with most cancers, the earlier skin cancer is detected, the better it can be treated. Patients also often prefer the Mohs treatment because it is minimally invasive, requiring only a local anesthetic.

The procedure begins with the application of the anesthetic. Once the treatment area is numbed, Dr. Blose removes all of the visible cancerous lesions and cells and a very small amount of the surrounding tissue. The surrounding tissue is removed so that it can be tested to determine if all the cancerous cells have been removed. If no cancer cells are foundi in the surrounding tissue, this portion of the procedure is over. If cells are found, then Dr. Blose will remove another small layer of tissue and have it examined. The process is repeated until the microscopic examination is negative for cancer cells.

Once the microscopic examination is negative and Dr. Blose and the patient feel confident that all of the lesions and cancer cells have been eliminated, the doctor and his team will repair and close the wound. The way the wound is repaired will depend on how much tissue was removed. For example, if there wasn’t much tissue removed, the area will be left alone. However, some cancer cell removals will require stitches or a skin graft to close the area. Finally, if a very large section of skin is removed, a reconstruction specialist may be needed.

Following the procedure, patients will be given instructions for how to care for the removal site and when to return for follow up care. Patients are also advised to take special care of the skin as it heals. It may be sensitive or itchy. If this becomes bothersome, Dr. Blose can offer advice about moisturizer or cream to make you more comfortable.

For more information about Mohs surgery for skin cancer treatment in the Downey area, call the office of Douglas A. Blose, M.D., Inc. Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery.

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