Fort Lauderdale dermatologist Dr. Janee Steinberg uses this procedure in her Tamarac and Boca Raton offices to treat skin cancers. She says, "Mohs Micrographic Surgery allows for the removal of a biopsy proven skin cancer in the most effective way. With this technique, the least amount of tissue is removed while still being sure all of the margins are free and clear of the cancerous tissue. Therefore, the cosmetic results are usually excellent after the surgery."
The Mohs technique is especially useful in treating skin cancers that are otherwise challenging to treat. "Since this technique was developed, I have treated many patients with Mohs, especially when the tumors are on difficult areas like the nose and the ear, or are recurrent. This is a very effective treatment for skin cancer as it allows the dermatologist to remove the least amount of tissue, still being sure that all of the tumor is gone," says Dr. Steinberg. "Mohs is only used for skin cancer, but that includes Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, and some but not all Melanomas and Merkel Cell Tumors which is a rare form of skin cancer," she says.
While there are many different skin cancer treatment options, Mohs is considered to be the most effective. "There are many other types of skin cancer treatments including excision with dessication and curettage, wide excision with suture repair, and topical treatments with creams like Aldara. All of these treatments have a high cure rate, especially when the cancer is detected early. However, Mohs is believed to have the highest cure rate of any other treatment."
Dr. Steinberg says that despite the great strides made in skin cancer research, biopsy remains the most accurate method of diagnosis. "With all of the latest technology, it still remains true that a microscopic biopsy is the most definitive way to diagnose a skin cancer. Traditionally, surgical excision - whether by scalpel or Mohs technique - was the most commonly used technique. However, in recent years, topical Imiquomods like Aldara can be applied to the tumors for several weeks to change the immunity of the cells. Certain types of skin cancers can be completely eradicated by this treatment."
"I believe that statistics have shown that the best cure rates for skin cancer occur when Mohs Micrographic Surgery is performed. Still this cure rate is not 100% since it is possible for a recurrence to occur, especially in the edge of the treated lesion."
Dr. Janee Steinberg
Dr. Steinberg is a Member of the Florida Society of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, International Society of Cosmetic Laser Surgeons, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, American Academy of Dermatology, Florida Society of Dermatology and the International Society of Dermatologists.