Mohs Micrographic Surgery for Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet) triggers mutations or genetic defects that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.
The exact reasons why you may develop skin cancer aren’t fully understood at present, but there are certain factors that make skin cancer more likely. The main risk factor for skin cancer is over-exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun or sunbeds. Age is another risk factor, however, one in three people diagnosed with melanoma are under 55.
There are three main types of skin cancer. These are named after the type of cell the cancer first occurs in.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery at 152 Harley Street, has come to be accepted as the single most effective technique for removing Basal Cell Carcinomas and Squamous Cell Carinomas. It is able to leave the greatest amount of healthy tissue while also most completely removing the cancer cells; cure rates are an unparalleled 98 percent or higher with Mohs, significantly better than the rates for standard excision or any other accepted method.
Mohs Micrographic Surgery differs from other techniques, in that microscopic examination of all excised tissues occurs during rather than after the surgery, thereby eliminating the need to “estimate” how far out or deep the roots of the skin cancer go. This allows the Mohs surgeon to remove all of the cancer cells while sparing as much normal tissue as possible. The procedure entails removing one thin layer of tissue at a time; as each layer is removed, its margins are studied under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells. If the margins are cancer-free, the surgery is finished. If not, more tissue is removed from the margin where the cancer cells were found and the procedure is repeated until all the margins of the final tissue sample examined are clear of cancer. In this way, Mohs surgery eliminates the guesswork in skin cancer removal, producing the best therapeutic and cosmetic results.
“Our expert consultant dermatologists offer a comprehensive skin cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment clinic with the use of Mohs surgery”
BASAL CELL CARCINOMA
Basal cell carcinoma is where cancer starts in the basal cells lining; the bottom layer of your epidermis. It’s the most common type of skin cancer in the UK. Three in four people diagnosed with skin cancer have this type. It’s slow growing but, if left untreated, can grow deeper into your skin and sometimes into surrounding tissues.
Basal cell carcinoma is often found on your face, scalp, ears, hands, lower legs and back.
SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA
Squamous cell carcinoma is where cancer starts in the squamous cells lining the top layer of your epidermis. It’s the second most common type of skin cancer in the UK. One in five people diagnosed with skin cancer have this type. Squamous cell carcinoma usually grows slowly but can spread into your surrounding skin or other parts of your body.
Squamous cell carcinoma is often found on your face, neck, lips, ears, hands, shoulders, arms and legs.
Melanoma is where cancer starts in the melanocytes. These are cells that make a pigment called melanin when your skin is exposed to the sun. Melanin gives your skin its colour and protects your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Melanoma can grow quickly and spread to other parts of your body. It can become life-threatening, but can be successfully treated, if found early. About 11,800 people are diagnosed with melanoma each year in the UK.
Melanomas are often found on the back in men, and on the legs in women.