Precision in the treatment of skin cancer
Mohs micrographic surgery can be considered the most refined, accurate and effective technique for the treatment of the most frequent types of skin cancer, offering the highest cure rate in the excision of non-melanoma skin cancers.
Through this procedure, it is possible to identify and remove the entire tumour, preserving the healthy skin around the lesion. The technique consists of removing the skin cancer, layer by layer, and examining each one under the microscope, until a free margin is obtained, that is, until the complete removal of the tumour (the level of precision and accuracy can reach 98% ). This precision is possible since almost 100% of the margins are analysed under a microscope during surgery. After obtaining the free margin, the reconstruction of the wound (resulting from the extraction of the tumour) is performed.
Thus, the main advantage of Mohs Micrographic Surgery in relation to conventional surgery is related to the microscopic control of the tumour margins during surgery, ensuring its total removal, without any aggression or extraction of the normal skin. In conventional surgery, the tumour is removed with safety margins and sent to pathological anatomy, the result of which is usually provided within 1-2 weeks. As the removal of the tumour is established only by visualisation of the dermatologist, the risk of some remaining cancerous residues may exist and is definitely higher compared to Mohs surgery.
Mohs surgery is indicated for:
- Basal cell carcinomas at increased risk for recurrence;
- Squamous cell (or squamous cell) carcinomas;
- Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans;
- And some rarer skin tumours.
Dr Tiago Mestre is one of the few Portuguese dermatologists who perform Mohs surgery, whose competence he acquired at Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals (United Kingdom), being a member of the American College and the European Society of Mohs Surgery.
17, March 2021