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Skin Cancer

New Basal Cell

01/05/2010

Question:

I had Mohs surgery about 2 months ago for basal cell that was there for 2 to 3 years before I had it looked at. About 4 weeks ago a new spot showed up over my other eyebrow. Same area as the 1st just other side of my face. It seems to be changing faster than I remember the 1st spot (but I really didn`t pay much attention to the 1st basal cell not knowing what it was). Started with a few bumps and now is a red patch with the bumps still there. At this point I`m not sure if it is another one, but have concerns. My next appointment with my primary Derm. is mid January. In this area is Mohs surgery always the best treatment or are there treatments just as good if the spot is small about 1 cm x 1 cm. I do want the best treatment for cure possible, but would also like to go into my appointment with the best most possible.

Answer:

The spot needs to be biopsied. The treatment for skin cancer that has the highest possible cure rate and saves as much normal skin as possible is mohs surgery. Mohs surgery is reserved for "high risk" skin cancers because it is time intensive. Things that make skin cancers high risk include location, tumor type (based on what is seen under the microscope), tumor size, whether or not the tumor has recurred and other criteria. If the spot is 1 cm x 1 cm on the eyebrow I would recommend mohs surgery (if it is in fact a basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma on biopsy). However you should discuss treatment options with you physician.

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Response by:

Jeremy S Bordeaux, MD, MPH Jeremy S Bordeaux, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Dermatology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University