of these sections and then draws a map of the surgical site. The tissues
are examined while the patient remains in the waiting room. The
undersurface and edges of each section are then microscopically examined for
evidence of remaining cancer. This method of processing the tissue allows
for examination of 100 percent of the surgical margins and accounts for the
high cure rate seen with this procedure. If the cancer cells are found,
their locations are marked onto the map by the surgeon who will then remove
another layer of skin precisely from the site that the cancer cells remain.
The removal process stops when there is no longer any evidence of cancer
remaining in the surgical site.
Mohs surgery is appropriate when the cancer is in an area where it is
important to preserve healthy tissue for maximum functional and cosmetic
result, such as eyelids, nose, ears, lips, fingers, toes and genitals. It
is also appropriate if the cancer was treated previously and has recurred,
or if the cancer is large, if the cancer is growing rapidly or
uncontrollably, or the edges of the cancer are not clearly defined.
Prospective patients must have a biopsy-proven skin cancer and meet the
criteria for Mohs surgery indications. The procedure is covered by most
In addition to Mohs surgery, Joyce Farah will spearhead a Photodynamic
Therapy Unit in the Mohs surgery suite. PDT is a non- surgical treatment
for pre-cancers and certain non-melanoma skin cancers. During the
treatment a photosensitizing agent is painted on the patient s skin and it
preferentially concentrates in sun-damaged cells. After an incu
one to two hours, the Once activated, the medication destroys the
Photodynamic therapy is appropriate for individuals who have significant sun
damage, numerous actinic keratoses and some superficial forms of basal cell
and squamous cell carcinomas. It is particularly useful for transplant
patients who have weakened immune systems from their transplant medications.