Skin cancer is something that affects more than 3.3 million people every single year; however, treatment for it is highly effective, especially when the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage. If your doctor just confirmed that you have skin cancer, he or she may recommend using a surgical procedure known as Mohs surgery to treat it. Mohs surgery is the most common way skin cancer is treated, and here are a few things to understand about it.

It Is One Of The Oldest Treatment Options

Mohs surgery was developed in the 1930s by Dr. Frederick Mohs. Throughout the years, doctors have used this procedure to treat millions of individuals suffering with skin cancer, and the way this surgery is completed has changed very little over the years. It was effective then, and it is effective now. Mohs surgery can be used to treat the most common types of skin cancer, and it generally offers excellent results.

It Is Different From Other Options

After being diagnosed with skin cancer, you will need some type of procedure to eliminate the cancerous cells, and there are multiple types of treatment options available. Mohs surgery is often recommended because of the way it works and its effectiveness.

Mohs surgery works by a doctor removing one layer of skin tissue at a time. Each time the skin layer is removed from the person, it is instantly examined under a microscope. During this examination, the doctor will look for cancerous cells. If they are found in the layer that is being examined, another layer of skin will be removed. This layer will also be tested, and the process will continue until the layer of skin is not cancerous.

Because of the way this works, only the skin that is cancerous will be removed. This will leave more of the unaffected skin in place, and this is one of the major advantages of this procedure.

Other options for removing skin cancer include excision, cryotherapy, and radiation. Each of these can be effective in some cases, but they may have more side effects than Mohs surgery. The other options might also remove more skin than what is actually necessary, and it often requires waiting for days or weeks to find out if all the cancerous cells are gone.

How You Can Prepare For Mohs Surgery

If your doctor recommends Mohs surgery to you for your skin cancer, you should know several things about it before going for your visit. By knowing these things, you can prepare for your surgery, and here are a few things you will want to know:

  • The doctor will use anesthesia – Getting layers of skin removed can be painful; however, you should not feel the pain because the doctor will give you anesthesia. This should completely numb the entire part of your body where the doctor is working.
  • It may take a long time – Mohs surgery may be highly effective, but it can also take a lot of time. Because it requires removing one layer of skin at a time and testing it immediately, it could take an hour for your surgery, or it could take an entire day to have it completed.
  • You can bring something to do – While the surgery is being completed, you are free to do something to keep yourself busy. This could mean bringing a small device to allow you to listen to music or watch movies, or you could bring a book to read.

Mohs surgery is one of the best types of surgical procedures available for treating skin cancer. If you would like to learn more about this, contact a doctor today at a clinic like Countryside Dermatology & Laser Center.