“Why would I want to do this any other way?” This is the response we hear so often when we discuss the possibilities of Mohs surgery with a patient. For anyone who considers how best to approach the treatment of skin cancer, Mohs surgery has indeed become the gold standard here in Atlanta.
The reasons are countless. To begin with, we face in Atlanta a heightened potential for encountering skin cancer at some point in our lives. The very blessings we enjoy here are to blame. Our climate invites outdoor recreation and exercise year-round. The very spirit of Atlanta is to go and to do, as the beating heart of the South. And finally, even our position on the planet puts us at heightened risk. Far closer to the equator than our neighbors to the north, we are more directly exposed to the sun’s harmful UV radiation, and for more of the year.
The Resulting Choice
As a result, there is a good chance we will know someone who must address skin cancer eventually, or we will face it ourselves. To consider skin cancer unavoidable, even here, is not the right frame of mind, because skin cancer is the most preventable form. What our outlook can include, however, is that most forms of skin cancer are eminently treatable, and that the techniques for removing skin cancers are better than ever. One of those removal techniques is known as Mohs surgery.
In the Mohs procedure, thin layers of cancer-containing cells are progressively removed and examined until only cancer-free tissue remains. Mohs surgery offers the advantages of single-visit, outpatient surgery, local anesthesia, and lab work for progressive diagnosis that is done in real time and on site.
The Mohs procedure is a precision technique that does minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. Compared with standard excision surgery, Mohs enables your surgeon to verify that all cancer cells have been removed at the time of surgery, increasing the likelihood of a cure, and reducing the need for additional treatments or follow-on surgery.
Beyond Compare for Effectiveness
No wonder Mohs surgery is the Atlanta gold standard, because Mohs surgery is considered the most effective technique for treating common skin cancers, with a 99% rate of cure for cancers that have not been treated before, and a 94% cure rage for skin cancer that has recurred after previous treatment. One reason for its effectiveness is that the surgery, the analysis, and the cosmetic reconstruction are focused on the hands of your own, individual surgeon and in one procedure. Your surgeon examines 100% of the tumor margins, spares healthy tissue, and leaves the smallest scar possible.
Mohs surgery is done in stages, and in one visit. After removing a layer of tissue, your surgeon examines it under a microscope in an on-site lab. If any cancer cells remain, your surgeon knows the exact area and removes another layer of tissue from that precise location. As much healthy tissue as possible is spared, and your surgeon repeats the process until no cancer cells remain.
Providing Peace of Mind
In addition to the physical and clinical advantages of Mohs surgery, we notice an additional, overall benefit. By offering such a precise and effective treatment, Mohs helps people face up to the possibilities and practice the precautions that help reduce the occurrence of skin cancer in the first place. By bringing the subject even more into the open, one of the threats of cancer – its stealth and secrecy – is dispelled.
Let’s get together and explore the positive possibilities that Mohs surgery may mean for you, if you, or a friend or loved one faces a skin cancer diagnosis. Here in Atlanta, it is doubtlessly the gold standard.