Skin Cancer/Mohs Surgery


There are 3 major types of skin cancer:

  1. Melanoma “the most lethal”
  2. Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) “the most common”
  3. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

All three skin cancers result from the abnormal growth of skin cells. Each type of cancer is named for the particular skin cells that are involved.

1 . Melanoma

  • Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and can be fatal as it often spreads to other parts of the body.
  • We cannot stress enough the importance of early detection and early treatment of melanoma.
  • We also recommend annual full-body skin exams, limiting exposure to the sun and the use of an SPF 50 sunblock.

Remember your A B C D E’s of Melanoma

  • Asymmetry of one side versus the other:

Most early melanomas are asymmetrical meaning a line through the middle would not create matching halves.

  • Border Shape:

The borders of early melanomas are often uneven and may have scalloped or notched edges.

  • Color Variation:

Common moles are usually a single shade of brown. Varied shades of brown, tan, or black are often the first sign of melanoma. As melanomas progress, the colors red, white, and blue may appear.

  • Diameter/Size:

Early melanomas tend to grow larger than common moles (at least to the size of a pencil eraser).

  • Evolving:

Any changes in size, shape, color, or elevation can be a sign of danger. Example: When a mole starts to evolve or change, see a doctor.

Melanoma can only be treated with surgery or radiation therapy. Mohs surgery, the most advanced technique of treating cancer would be ineffective on Melanoma patients. Since Mohs surgery involves removing only cancerous cells, it is not recommended for Melanoma patients.

2 . Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

Can look like a smooth pink or pearly papules

  • Is slow growing

Mohs surgery is the best possible treatment for Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) Cancer. Mohs treatment program at Park Avenue Dermatology under Dr. George Schmieder’s expertise ensures the procedure is safe and effective. Mohs surgery procedure is the most reliable and safest treatment for BCC patients.

3. Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

These lesions are usually pink, red, or scaly. Look for:

  • A mole that changes.
  • A sore that doesn’t heal.
  • A crusting or flaking area of skin.
  • A sore (or trauma) to an area without any history of injury.
  • An indented or ulcerated area.

Chemotherapy and Mohs surgery are the two best treatments available for Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) patients.

Skin Cancer Treatments

Most Squamous and Basal Cell Carcinomas can only be treated with surgical excision at both our Orange Park and River City UF Health offices, utilizing Mohs Surgery, a tissue-sparing surgical technique. Treatment of melanoma, if detected early enough, can also be treated with a simple surgical excision. If it has already spread, sometimes a malignant melanoma may require more complicated skin cancer treatments.

Mohs surgery involves removing only cancer carrying cells with the help of a small surgical incision. The Mohs surgery ensures no healthy cells are withdrawn from the body while surgically removing the cancer cells. Mohs surgery ensures identification of all cancer carrying cells, leaving behind no cancer cells to further reproduce and grow in numbers to harm the body. Post-Mohs surgery, no further incisions may be required, and regular examination has shown results in the improvement in overall health.

The standard surgery involved removing all cells in the cancerous area of the skin, also killing the healthy cells which reduced the body’s self-healing powers in the afflicted area. Under Mohs micrographic surgery, progressive removal of all cancer cells in the body is performed until only healthy cells remain. The results shown by Mohs surgery are far better than that of conventional surgical incisions. Mohs surgery performed under the guidance and expertise of Dr. George Schmieder at our facilities is second to none in the industry.

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