Can Mohs Surgery Wait a Month After Diagnosis?

If my recent biopsy of a very tiny, pimple-like thing on my cheek is basil cell cancer, can I wait 4-5 weeks after the diagnosis for Mohs surgery? I have only had this "pimple" for 1 month. I am getting married in 4-5 weeks and don't want to have this show.

Doctor Answers 10

Basal cell carcinoma can be treated by Mohs surgery for conservation of tissue

Basal cell carcinomas are often very slow to grow.  Waiting four or five weeks is not uncommon for some patients to just get an appointment for consultation in some busy practices.  The doubling time for this slow-growing skin cancer allows one to relax if there is a short delay before treatment compared with faster-growing skin cancers such as squamous cell carcinomas or melanomas.  A rare exception would be if there are symptoms of nerve involvement near crucual areas such as the eyelid with shooting pain, new onset of double vision or blurred vision which would suggest you obtain the appropriate consultation prior to delaying the treatment.  The doctor might be able to give someone reassurance that for their case it would not place one's health in jeopardy. In all likelihood you will be able to enjoy your wedding first! 

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Should be fine to wait

It should be fine to wait 4-5 weeks before having the BCC removed.  Enjoy your wedding but make your appointment as soon as possible after you return.  You can even book now to ensure you are on the schedule.

Brian E. Dubow, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Basal cell carcinoma and Mohs surgery

Typically waiting 4-5 weeks will not result in any significant difference in your basal cell carcinoma treatment plan. However I would suggest you confirm this with your dermatologist.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

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Waiting a month to treat bcc

Since BCC is a slow growing non lifethreatening skin cancer, I can safely reccomend waiting up to two months before having the procedure.



Peter Malouf, DO
Dallas Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Basal cell carcinoma can wait 4-5 weeks

As other experts have stated, basal cell carcinoma is a slow growing tumor that indeed can wait some time. Unless you experience significant changes in size of the lesion or symptoms, there is not rush to treat it so it can wait until after the wedding and even the honey moon!

Larisa Ravitskiy, MD
Columbus Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Basla Cell Carcinoma is slow growing

I think it would be fine to wait a month for a small Basal Cell Carcinoma.  That is the most common type of skin cancer and fortunately it is the easiest to treat/cure.  Sunscreen daily and have it treated soon after your wedding and you should be fine.  I must say, some other forms of skin cancer are not safe to delay treatment.

Heather Haley, MD
Mobile Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

In many cases, Mohs surgery for uncomplicated skin cancer can wait 1 month

In many cases, Mohs surgery for uncomplicated skin cancer can wait 1 month. I would agree with my dermatology colleagues. In many cities, it's not unusual to wait several months between diagnosis and the final appointment for skin cancer excision by a Dermatologic surgeon. Enjoy your wedding but make sure you followup as soon as possible after the celebration with your dermatologist.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

How long can you wait for Mohs surgery

A small basal cell carcinoma typically grows slowly over months to years.  A delay of one month, in my opinion should normally have no effect on the outcome of the surgery.  If the Mohs surgery is "big" it's cos it's big now, not just what happened because you waited a month.

Daniel Berg, MD
Seattle Dermatologic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Waiting on your Mohs surgery

For some types of cancers waiting several weeks to even a few months may not be disastrous.  Other types of skin cancers should be removed rapidly , especially rapidly growing cancers such as rapidly growing squamous cell carcinomas and melanomas. Remember you have been diagnosed with cancer. The nice thing is that since it is on your face you can watch it for the most part , whereas if you were diagnosed with an internal cancer, my guess would be that  your intuition would be to see how fast you could get to the operating room to have it removed.  That being said a basal cell carcinoma is usually rather slow growing and is mostly locally destructive until it reaches a large size where if it spreads to the lymph nodes it can be more deadly than melanoma. If your cancer is indeed small, then waiting 1-2 months may allow it to grow another 1-2 millimeters which should not change the repair option for your Mohs surgeon and only make the cancer removal area slightly larger. In these cases of small slow growing BCCs , I will often support the patients decision to wait until after their big event to have their surgery performed.

Shawn Allen, MD
Boulder Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Can You Delay Mohs Surgery?

For a small basal cell carcinoma on the cheek there shouldn't be any problem waiting 4-5 weeks before having Mohs surgery. Basal cell caricnomas tend to grow very slowly, destroying normal healthy tissue as they grow, but waiting one month should not have any signifcant adverse impact on how large the skin cancer defect will be or what type of repair will be performed.

Andrew Kaufman, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.