Of all of the cancers that are reported each year in the U.S., Skin cancer is found to be the most prevalent. In fact, some experts have estimated that up to half of the entire population of the U.S. that reaches the age of fifty will contract it at some point in their life and this is one of the biggest reasons why awareness is so important. Each year there are over one million new skin cancer cases reported in the U.S. and with an aging population this figure is only expected to increase.
There are three main types of skin cancer that are most often found and they are all treatable but as in all other cancers early detection is they key to surviving. The least severe and most easily treated is ” Basal Cell Carcinoma” which is a slow growing cancer that begins on the skins surface. The form of skin cancer with the next higher level of severity is called “Squamous Cell Carcinoma” and it too is highly treatable if detected in its early stages.
“Melanoma” is the most severe and difficult to treat form of skin cancer, because it is faster growing and effects the deeper skin layers. There are several forms of treatment for skin cancer and the treatment that is employed is usually determined by the severity and location of the cancer. Fully one fourth of all skin cancers are treated by the surgical technique known as “Micrographic surgery” or Mohs as it is commonly referred to.
This surgical technique offers the benefit of sacrificing the least amount of healthy tissue, while at the same time offering the highest success rate. This all translates into faster recovery with minimal scarring. This surgery is performed under local anesthesia, meaning that the patient is awake, yet feels no pain. The skin is marked out in a grid-work that is used to guide the surgeon during the process that removes the cancerous tissue in increments, until its outer edge are breached and all of the cancer is removed.