Dr. Kevin McKerrow
DERMATOLOGIST+ SEE BIO
Mohs surgery is technique for the microscopically- controlled excision of skin cancer, produces the highest cure rate for non-melanoma skin cancers suitable for the procedure. The technique combines surgical removal of the skin cancer in a precise layer-by layer removal, with immediate microscopic examination of the removed tissue, using horizontal frozen sections to ensure no tumour remains.
Once clearance is achieved, the wound can be repaired. This process should not be confused with frozen sections, which refers to random, intermittent sectioning, examining only a small area of the overall specimen. Skin cancer is by far the most common malignant tumour in humans. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
Both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma begin as a single point in the upper layers of the skin and slowly enlarge, both along the surface and downward. These extensions cannot always be seen directly. The tumour often extends far beyond what is visible on the surface of the skin. Basal cell carcinoma metastasis (spread) is extremely rare, and usually only occurs in the setting of long-standing, large tumours. Squamous cell carcinoma is slightly more dangerous and patients must be observed for any spread of the tumour. Such spread is still infrequent. Patients with basal cell, squamous cell carcinoma and certain rare neoplasms should ideally be treated by this technique if they fall within one of the following criteria: