Dr John Mckenna on skin cancer
“Skin cancer is by far the most common cancer in humans. Most people have heard of Melanoma, the potentially serious type that is usually a dark lesion on the skin, like a changing or new mole.
Thankfully however most skin cancers are the non-life threatening Basal Cell Carcinoma. This type of skin cancer does not spread around the body, but does grow slowly and steadily within the skin. They start as a small spot that may occasionally bleed and crust, and slowly enlarge over many months. They become really quite unsightly and troublesome, and when occurring on the face they can damage cosmetically important structures such as the eyelids and nostrils, eventually invading fat, muscle and cartilage.
There are a number of potential treatment options depending on the type of basal cell carcinoma, and its location, but surgical removal is often required. If they are occurring in places where there is adequate loose skin, then we remove them with a generous margin of surrounding normal looking skin, in order to have a good chance of complete cure.
When they occur near cosmetically important structures, have locally aggressive growth patterns, or when standard surgery has already failed, then Mohs Micrographic Surgery is considered the best possible treatment. This allows an exceptionally high level of confidence of complete cure without the need to remove large amounts of unnecessary surrounding normal skin. The wound size can be kept to the absolute minimum, reducing the damage and scarring from surgery.”
For details about what Mohs Micrographic surgery involves, when it is used and its advantages, John McKenna reccomends visiting: http://www.dermnetnz.org/procedures/mohs.html