Surgical Treatment of Skin Cancers and Benign Skin Growths
Dermatologists specialize in the surgical management of cancerous and non-cancerous skin growths. One in seven Canadians will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Most of these will be basal cell carcinomas, slow-growing lesions that rarely pose a health risk but can be locally destructive. These are followed in number by squamous cell carcinomas and finally by malignant melanomas. Melanomas are the least common of the three major types of skin cancer, but are important because they can rarely be fatal.
Most basal cell carcinomas are treated with electrodessication and curettage or simple surgical excision. Complicated basal cell carcinomas are sometimes treated with a technique known as Mohs surgery. In Toronto, Mohs surgery is only done at Women's College Hospital. Dr. Levy does not perform this procedure but may recommend it if you have a complicated skin cancer.