Mohs skin cancer treatment evolves as an option for more McKinney patients

Mohs Micrographic Surgery is considered the "gold standard" for the treatment of the most frequently occurring types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. However, Mohs is gaining wider acceptance as a treatment for a more rare yet aggressive form: melanoma.

Precedent

First developed in the 1930s by Dr. Frederic Edward Mohs, cure rates for primary BCCs and SCCs have reportedly hovered in the 98 to 99 percent range. Even recurring cancers have been cured at a rate of 96 percent with this technique, giving hope to patients who otherwise may have unsuccessfully tried other treatments to no avail.

The power of Mohs is in its precision. Dr. Nicholas Snavely, the Center for Dermatology and Cosmetic Laser Surgery's in-house specialist, is trained to deliver the Mohs skin cancer treatment for patients who reside in McKinney. Dr. Snavely removes a thin layer of tissue and then studies the margins around the cancer under the microscope. If cancer cells are seen under magnification, another layer of tissue is removed and the margins are examined again. This process is repeated, on a layer-by-layer basis, until no cancer cells are present at examination.

Mohs has taken the uncertainty out of skin cancer surgery. Unlike standard excision techniques, the cancer's exact location can be pinpointed even when it is not visible to the naked eye. This allows for precise removal of the tumor. More healthy tissue is spared due to the precise nature of this treatment.

Mohs for melanoma

For many years, Mohs Micrographic Surgery was not considered a suitable alternative to standard excision and other treatments for melanoma. It was thought that some microscopic melanoma cells would be overlooked during examination. These cells would remain and potentially metastasize or spread to other parts of the body.

As with so many different types of technologies and approaches, Mohs has evolved. Special stains have been introduced, which allow specialists like Dr. Snavely to see melanomas that might otherwise not be visible with conventional staining.

Many skin cancers can be treated, but early detection and proper diagnosis is critical. Call 972-985-9003 to schedule a professional skin evaluation at the Center for Dermatology and Cosmetic Laser Surgery.

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