Along with research telling us to wear sunscreen and to protect ourselves from the sun in others ways, particularly on days when the UV index is high, research has continued into treatment of skin cancer.
Dr. Frederic E. Mohs was a general surgeon who developed a chemosurgery technique which is a microscopically controlled surgery that has been proven highly effective for common types of skin cancer. In the intervening 70 years since its inception, the technique has been cited to have a cure rate at between 97% and 99.8%—the highest of all the skin cancer treatments.
The aim of the treatment is to precisely identify and remove the entire tumor one layer at a time without harming the surrounding healthy tissue. This particular treatment also minimizes the possibilities of re-growth and lessens the possibility of scarring or disfigurement.
The Province of Ontario is privileged to have the only two Mohs surgeons accredited and recognized by the American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology practicing in Ontario. Dr. Christian Murray and Dr. Nowell Solish are also founding members of the Canadian Association of Mohs Surgeons, which has 12 practicing surgeons.
Through the Skin Surgery Centre at the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, Drs. Murray and Solish and their specialized team have brought this incredible treatment to Canada. This Skin Surgery Centre was established in 2006.
During the procedure the surgeon visually identifies the tumor, anaesthetizes the area and then removes the tumor along with an additional thin layer of tissue. Through a mapping protocol the surgeon will then examine the additional thin layer of tissue with a microscope to ensure that all the cancer cells have been removed. If not, then another thin layer of tissue is removed and re-examined and so on until the surgeon is able to confirm that all the cancer cells have been removed.
At that time, rehabilitation of the site will be discussed.
Similar treatment clinics are now open across Canada. Perhaps the success rates of this particular type of treatment will encourage more young Canadian doctors to undergo training to perform this kind of treatment and more such clinics will open in Canada.
Sources: www.mohscollege.org (American College of Mohs Surgery); www.dermatologytoronto.com