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Mohs/Skin Cancer

Early diagnosis of skin cancer in Downey helps avoid extensive treatment

Skin cancer is most treatable when caught early. Even with more aggressive or advanced cancers, today's science and technologies have resulted in outstanding outcomes for many patients for cancers that may have been a death sentence just 20 years ago. You can live a long and productive life after such a diagnosis.

Dr. Douglas Blose may catch a suspicious growth, mole, or dry patch during a skin examination. We like to schedule these examinations at regular intervals. We don't want you to see us only when you are alarmed about a change or new spot or area on your skin. However, if you do see any changes, such as to the color, border, shape, size, and other features, or it's suddenly itching or oozing, call us immediately.

A visual inspection is the beginning. A dermoscope may also be used. It looks like a handheld microscope that allows Dr. Blose to magnify an area of skin for a better look. He can then see changes to coloring and other structures in the skin more clearly.

If Dr. Blose sees something that looks suspicious, he may gently remove all or part of it during the appointment. This tissue is then sent to a lab. The doctor can't make a diagnosis without this step, known as a biopsy. It's quick and you probably won't feel much of anything. If it comes back that the sample is cancerous, we'll determine a course of treatment. That treatment depends on some of the following characteristics of the cancer:
  • Type
  • Location
  • Nature (is it aggressive?)
  • Stage (how deep is it? Has it spread?)
  • Health of the patient
The most common types of cancers are squamous and basal cell carcinomas. The Skin Cancer Foundation reports Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) is the accepted and single most effective technique to remove these cancers. In fact, they boast an unparalleled 98 percent or higher cure rate, which is significantly better than those outcomes for standard surgical removal.

MMS is also particularly helpful for those skin cancers that have a high chance of coming back or those in noticeable or delicate areas, such as on the face, hands and feet. Additionally, those with some types of melanomas and other more rare cancers can benefit.

The reason for these high cure rates among even the most hard-to-treat cancers is due the unique nature of this technique. After the treatment area is numbed, Dr. Blose will first remove the growth that he can see. A thin layer of surrounding tissue will also be removed. This progressive technique relies on the advanced skills and finesse of specialists like Dr. Blose, as each bit of tissue removed will then be examined under the microscope. If cancer is still seen, more tissue will be removed. The goal is to continue repeating these steps until no cancer cells are found.

Before MMS or other treatments are on your radar, let's get into a healthy routine of regular professional examinations to potentially make a skin cancer diagnosis or eliminate the possibility of a skin cancer diagnosis in Downey. Call (562) 923-6450 to schedule your appointment.

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