Today the Los Angeles Times reports that Governor Jerry Brown, underwent surgery for a skin cancer of the nose. Basal cell cancer, the lesion that was removed from his nose using a technique called Mohs surgery, is the most common form of skin cancer in humans. Caused by the sun, it rarely spreads in the body and can be easily treated. In the very well-known office procedure called Mohs surgery, named after Frederick Mohs of Wisconsin, who developed the original technique to minimize disfigurement, tissue is removed layer by layer until no more cancer is seen under the microscope. Following the cancer removal, the wound is repaired using plastic surgery. The most common type of plastic surgery consists of simply sewing the wound closed. Often this involves suturing a circular wound into a fine straight line. Occasionally skin flaps or skin grafts ( borrowing skin from another part of the body) may be used. The Mohs removal and the plastic repair are procedures that are typically done in the office under local anesthesia. To read more about basal cell cancer and the Mohs technique read my chapter in Total Skin. The chapter on Healing is also germane here.
- Cancer Answers: Rare Skin Malignancies
- Protecting Against Skin Cancer
- Prevention and Early Detection of Melanoma