Although non-surgical options, such as photodynamic therapy or brachytherapy, are suitable for some skin cancers, surgery is still sometimes the preferred option.
Reasons why surgery might be preferred:
- Type of skin cancer: All melanoma, almost all squamous cell carcinoma, and higher risk basal cell carcinoma (morpheic, sclerosing, recurrent) are unsuitable for non-surgical treatments, and almost always require excision.
- Highest cure rate: Excision has a higher cure rate than non-surgical treatments. Even when non-surgical options are suitable for certain lower risk skin cancers, many people still prefer the treatment with the highest cure rate, even with the scar and possible complications associated with surgery.
- Convenience: Most surgery can be done in a single appointment, with external stitches (if needed) removed 5-14 days later. Non-surgical treatments often require multiple appointments.
Mohs Surgery: The Gold Standard in Skin Cancer Treatment
Developed by Dr. Frederick Mohs in the 1930s, Mohs micrographic surgery has stood the test of time. It has been embraced over the past decade by an increasing number of surgeons for treatment of a variety of skin cancers. Today, Mohs surgery is commonly accepted as one of the most effective techniques for removing the two most common types of skin cancer – Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC).