The most accurate means of removing skin cancer
Mohs sugery is an outpatient procedure that provides the most accurate means of removing skin cancer while at the same time preserving healthy tissue. It also provides the opportunity for the evaluation of all tissues around the surgical margins as compared to a "sampling" of the margins which occurs with routine evaluation of excised tumor specimens.
Mohs surgery is most commonly used for the treatment of skin cancers in the following circumstances:
- Where the skin cancer is located on a critical structure (such as the eyelid, ear, nose or lips). In these cases, it is important to remove the cancer with preservation of surrounding normal tissue
- When the skin cancer has recurred after being treated by another method. A recurrent cancer can be more difficult to remove because it may grow beneath the scar before surfacing, resulting in its true borders being difficult to identify
- Where the skin cancer is on an area of the body that is conducive to aggressive growth (have more roots), such as the center of the face
- Where the margins or borders of the skin cancer are very indistinct, meaning that it is difficult to see where skin cancer ends and normal tissue begins
- Incidents in which a skin cancer has been surgically excised, but the pathology lab report indicates some of the cancer has been left behind - sometimes described as "the margins are positive." A scar may exist without other visible evidence of skin cancer