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 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 dermatologist or family doctor to spot any new skin cancer. Ask your dermatologist 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.
Sept. 06, 2017
- Robinson JK, et al., eds. Mohs micrographic surgery and cutaneous oncology. In: Surgery of the Skin: Procedural Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 28, 2017.
- AskMayoExpert. Mohs micrographic surgery. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
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- Mohs micrographic surgery in the treatment of skin cancer. American Society for Mohs Surgery. http://www.mohssurgery.org/patient-resources/patient-brochure/. Accessed July 28, 2017.
- Squamous cell skin cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed July 28, 2017.
- Basal cell skin cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed July 28, 2017.
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- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 21, 2017.