Mohs’ Surgery for Skin Cancer

Frederic E. Mohs, MD 1910-2002

In 1981, I had the distinct honor and privilege to meet Dr. Frederic E. Mohs at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.  He was the surgeon who invented the technique of removing skin cancers with the least amount of normal tissue and the highest possible cure rate.  The trick was to examine the tissue microscopically layer by layer sequentially before the wound was repaired.  I heard a rumor years ago that Mohs would be nominated for the Nobel Prize in medicine.  Today Mohs’ Surgery is used to treat mainly basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, the two most common types of skin cancer, with cure rates of 97-99%.

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