Treatment of Skin Cancer of the Face
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in men and women in the world. Specifically the two common subtypes are called basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Fortunately, skin cancers such as these are very treatable, especially when caught early.
Since facial skin cancers are treatable, early detection is important. Once detected there are several options for treatment. The mainstay of therapy is removal of the cancer.
There are two methods in which this is performed:
1) Wide Local Excision- The cancer is removed taking additional skin around the visible portion of the cancer as a margin to ensure that any microscopic cells are removed. This is a good option where additional skin can be removed without consequence and reconstruction is not a concern. When considering facial skin cancers, such is the case in areas such as the cheek and/or neck.
2) MOHS Surgery- MOHS surgery is a process by which the physician removes the visible skin cancer. While you are still in the office, he/she will look at the borders of the removed cancer under the microscope to determine if more skin needs to be removed in order to completely remove the cancer. Once all of the cancer is removed, repair of the skin defect is considered.
MOHS surgery is beneficial in areas of the face where reconstruction is more difficult. This way the smallest possible amount of skin is removed while safely still removing all of the cancer. Cure rates using the MOHS micrographic surgical technique by a qualified MOHS surgeon are quoted to be as being as high as 99%.