Ask A Dermatologist: Mohs Surgery Skin Cancer Cure Rate
A common concern of any patient with skin cancer is the likelihood that the cancer will return after being treated. Mohs surgery is an extremely effective technique with the highest cure rate of all available treatments for skin cancer. It is a skin sparing procedure where clear margins are confirmed while the patient is in the office.
Mohs Surgery Cure Rate
No cancer treatment has a 100% cure rate. It always possible for a skin cancer to reappear in the area treated with Mohs surgery, but it is much more likely to develop a different skin cancer in another area on the body.
Skin cancers vary in terms of aggressiveness, sub-type, and location. Additionally, patients may have risk factors that increase their likelihood of skin cancer. These factors contribute to likelihood of skin cancer recurrence.
Studies have shown Mohs surgery cure rates to be among the highest of treatment options, with cure rates ranging from 95% to 99%.
Why Mohs Surgery is so Effective
Mohs surgery is a precise skin cancer treatment that involves the surgical removal of the cancerous tumor with real-time examination of the complete surgical margins. Verification is the key to the procedure’s high cure rates. Mohs surgeons excise tissue layer by layer until they can confirm clear margins under the microscope. The precision of Mohs surgery spares the greatest amount of healthy tissue from being excised leading to smaller surgical defects and less scarring.
The Importance of Follow-Ups
While Mohs surgery boasts a high cure rate, patients may rarely require supplemental treatments or even further surgery. Follow-up visits are extremely important after surgery, especially for the first couple of years following treatment. Patients are also highly encouraged to perform monthly self-skin examinations and report any new growth or changes to their physician.