A skin cancer diagnosis is scary. Fear causes many people to avoid screenings and delay early detection. It’s completely normal to be overwhelmed, and you are not alone. However, the fact is that over 90% of stage 1 melanoma patients live 5 years or longer according to the American Cancer Society. For non-melanoma diagnosis, the survival rate is much higher thanks to advances in how we treat skin cancer.
One of the most successful skin cancer treatments is Mohs Micrographic Surgery. During this procedure, a specially-trained surgeon removes the skin cancer layer-by-layer and examines the tissue under a microscope until only healthy, cancer-free tissue remains. Because a Mohs surgeon has to be specially trained as a cancer surgeon, pathologist, and reconstructive surgeon in one, Mohs surgery has the highest success rate of all treatments for skin cancer – up to 99% – according to the American College of Mohs Surgery.
Although it has been around since the 1930s, Mohs micrographic surgery has only recently advanced to become a precise and effective treatment for an increasing variety of skin cancer types. It requires intense, cross-discipline training that many in the field have not yet adopted. At Fort Wayne Dermatology Consultants, we are the only dermatology practice in the area with a fellowship-trained Mohs Surgeon on staff. Fellowship-training requires a year or more of extra practice and study to perfect this specialized skill.
Dr. McGovern has removed over 24,000 skin cancers with the vast majority from the face using the Mohs technique. He is the only fellowship-trained surgeon within 60 miles west, 85 miles north or south, and 95 miles east of Fort Wayne to perform this type of skin cancer procedure.
Mohs surgery is unique and so effective because Dr. McGovern examines 100% of the tissue as he removes it during the procedure. This ensures:
If you are concerned about a spot on your skin, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your dermatologist for a screening. To learn about the types of skin cancer and what to expect at your appointment, click here.
Not all skin cancers are best treated with Mohs surgery, but the Mohs procedure is especially good for cancers of the face, scalp, neck, and hands, cancers that are large or deep, previously-treated cancers, and those with a particularly aggressive appearance under the microscope. The most common types of cancer treated with Mohs surgery are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Melanoma is treated in other ways a significant majority of the time.
Have you already had a biopsy a physician that came back positive for skin cancer? Maybe they are suggesting a more invasive skin cancer treatment, or maybe you have been referred to a Mohs surgeon who is hours away. Some local practices do not know that the Mohs procedure is available in our Fort Wayne area. We are happy to take a look and offer a second opinion. Call Fort Wayne Dermatology Consultants at (260) 436-8000.