One of the advantages of Mohs surgery is that you know your results right away and you usually don't leave your appointment until all of the skin cancer has been removed. You may have a follow-up visit with your surgeon or referring doctor to monitor your recovery to make sure your wound is healing properly.
Follow-up exams to look for additional skin cancer
Though Mohs surgery has a high rate of cure for skin cancer, you will always have a small risk of cancer recurrence or of developing another skin cancer. People who have been diagnosed with skin cancer have an increased risk of developing skin cancer again, compared with people who have never had skin cancer. As many as half of the people diagnosed with the most common types of skin cancer will develop another skin cancer again within five years.
Plan to undergo regular follow-up visits with your skin doctor or family doctor to spot any new skin cancer. Ask your skin doctor to create a follow-up schedule for you. How often you'll undergo follow-up skin exams depends on your diagnosis. Expect to have skin exams at least once or twice a year, and more often if your cancer was aggressive or is more likely to recur.
Aug. 25, 2012
- Robinson JK, et al. Surgery of the Skin: Procedural Dermatology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:711.
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- Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed July 11, 2012.
- Important patient information regarding Mohs micrographic surgery in the treatment of skin cancer. American Society for Mohs Surgery. http://www.mohssurgery.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3335. Accessed July 6, 2012.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 19, 2012.