What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is a type of cancer that begins in cells called melanocytes, which are found at the base layer of the epidermis. Melanomas can develop anywhere on your body but most often in sun exposed areas. They commonly appear as black or brown spots with irregular shapes and diameters but can also less commonly be pink, white or red.
When diagnosed in an early stage, melanoma is more likely to respond well to surgical treatment than later stages but still requires immediate attention and prompt treatment to avoid further growth.
There are many signs and symptoms of melanoma, such as changes to existing moles and the development of new, unusual growths on your skin.
Melanoma can occur on any part of your body, but people are more likely to develop it in locations that receive greater exposure from sunlight: chests/backs for men; legs for women; neck & face (for either gender).
What Is Mohs Surgery for Melanoma?
Slow Mohs Surgery is a type of surgery that is an effective treatment option for some types of superficial Melanoma. Lentigo maligna melanoma and Melanoma-in-situ are candidates for this procedure. Slow Mohs Surgery removes the visible portion of the lesion with a rim of surrounding tissue to be sectioned and processed in a very particular orientation overnight so that all edges are completely visualized. Those sections are then examined the next day by the dermatopathologist to determine if any area of the lesion extended beyond the removed margin. If so, the Mohs surgeon takes an additional section of tissue only in that involved area which is sent overnight for processing once again.
This technique enables physicians to ensure they’ve removed all cancerous cells while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues. This method has been proven more effective with fewer side effects than other types of surgeries, and less risk of recurrence for melanoma-in-situ and lentigo maligna melanoma. Patients have a high satisfaction rate from this process because it reduces both pain and recovery time, allowing them to return quickly back to their daily routine.