MOHS micrographic surgery is a technique that removes skin cancers in layers. The entire edge and undersurface of each layer is then examined under the microscope for the presences of skin cancer cells. If there are still cancer cells seen, additional layers are taken until the area is free of tumor cells. The extent and depth of the cancer will determine the number of layers of surgery necessary to remove skin cancer.
Is Mohs Surgery used to treat all cancers?
Mohs is used most often to treat basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Mohs surgery is used to treat skin cancers in difficult areas such as the face and neck, cosmetically sensitive areas, or for cancers that have recurred after a previous treatment. Mohs surgery can sometimes be used for very thin melanomas, although this is rare.
What is Skin Cancer?
Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting an estimated one million Americans each year. Similar to the tip of an iceberg, the cancer visible on the skin’s surface may represent a much larger tumor underneath the skin.
Types of Skin Cancer
Basal Cell Carcinoma– This is the most common type of skin cancer. These cancers arise in the basal cells, at the base of the epidermis (the outer skin layer). Chronic exposure to sun is the most common cause of BCCs. Those at risk for this type of skin cancer are any one with a history of sun exposure, those with fair skin and light eyes, occupations that are outdoors and a history of sunburns as a child.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma– SCCs are the second most common type of skin cancers. This type of cancer can occur on all areas of the body including mucus membranes, but are more common on sun exposed areas. These types of skin cancers can eventually penetrate the underlying tissues if not treated properly. In a small percentage of cases, they can spread to distant tissues and organs. Those most at risk are patients who spend a lot of time outdoors.
Malignant Melanoma– Melanoma is a cancer that arises from the pigment cells of the skin or from similar cells that make up moles. If not treated early, this cancer can metastasize to vital organs of the body. Unfortunately, the incidence of this deadly type of skin cancer is on the rise.
Meet our Mohs Surgeon
From 1999 thru 2006 Eduardo Weiss was one of the charge physicians of MOHS surgeries and laser procedures for Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. During this period Dr. Weiss also established a very successful practice in Hollywood, Florida. He currently performs over 1500 MOHS surgeries and laser procedures each year. Dr. Weiss continues to train residents of Dermatology and Family Medicine from the University of Miami and Nova South Eastern University.
Eduardo Weiss M.D. has lectured throughout the United States as well as South America. He has been published in numerous medical journals and health quarterlies.