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Upstate offers new skin cancer treatment

Upstate Medical University is offering Mohs Micrographic

Surgery, an advanced skin cancer treatment that gives the highest possible

cure rate for many skin cancers while minimizing damage to normal tissue.

The surgery is primarily used to remove the two most common forms of skin

cancer, basal and squamous cell carcinomas, but can be used to treat less

common tumors including melanoma.

"Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer

in their lifetime," said Michael C. Iannuzzi, M.D., M.B.A., professor and

chair of Upstate s Department of Medicine. "The Upstate Medical

University Mohs Surgery Center is a much needed medical resource for the citizens of Central New York."

Ramsay-S. Farah, M.D., and his sister Joyce B. Farah, M.D., offer this

procedure through Upstate s Department of Medicine. Ramsay-S. Farah is an

associate professor of medicine and pathology and chief of the dermatology

division of the Department of Medicine and has boards in dermatopathology.

Joyce Farah is an assistant professor of medicine with fellowship training

in photodynamic therapy, a non-surgical treatment for pre-cancers and

non-melanoma skin cancers.

Mohs surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Local

anesthesia is administered around the area of the tumor allowing the patient

to remain awake throughout the procedure. The cure rates for Mohs

Micrographic Surgery approach 99 percent for most previously untreated

cancers with a slightly lower cure rate for secondary or recurrent

cancers,

said Ramsay-S Farah.

Mohs surgery preserves the greatest amount of normal tissue, providing the

foundation for the best reconstructions and limiting scarring or permanent

disfigurement, according to Farah.

In Mohs surgery, the visible portion of the tumor is surgically removed. A

layer of the skin is removed and divided into sections that are color-coded

with dyes. The surgeon makes reference marks on the skin to show the source

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