What Is Mohs Surgery?
Mohs surgery is a special type of surgery. It is used to cure skin cancer by cutting layers of the skin until all the cancer is gone. It is 99% effective at curing the most common forms of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. It is also used to treat some types of melanoma.
Who invented Mohs micrographic surgery?
Mohs surgery may also be called “Mohs micrographic surgery” or just “Mohs.” It is named after the man who invented the process, Dr. Frederic Mohs.
Who Gets Mohs?
Before having or starting treatment for any medical problem, it is good to understand why your doctor has chosen that treatment. The same is true for Mohs surgery. While Mohs surgery is a common treatment for basal cell or squamous cell skin cancers, it is still surgery. Be sure to talk with your treatment team to understand your skin cancer treatment options and why they feel Mohs surgery is the right choice.
While the cure rate varies, research shows that Mohs surgery cures about 97% of primary (first time) squamous cell skin cancers and 99% of first-time basal cell skin cancers. Doctors who prefer surgery to cure skin cancer use Mohs surgery when:
- The skin cancer is in the basal or squamous cells of the skin
- The skin cancer is on a part of the body where it is important to remove as little skin as possible, such as the scalp, face, hands, neck, feet, or shins
- The cancer is on the same area as a scar
- The cancer is large or deep into the skin
- The immune system is weak