Can I wait until November (3 mo) to have Mohs done?

On 8/4/11 I received a Pathology Report which stated; SKIN LESION RIGHT MEDIAL MALAR CHEEK: SMALL MODULAR BASAL CELL CARCINOMA. Comments; Nests and cords of basil cell carcinoma cells exhibit peripheral palisading and are at the dermal-epidermal junction with extension into the underlying dermis. The lesion extends just barely up into the deep margin. NOTE: We have been planning a trip for September and October for some time. Would it be feasible to wait until we return to have the Mohs?

Doctor Answers 4

Can I wait until November (3 mo) to have Mohs done?

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I would say  yes.  It is not likely to change much in that time although it might be slightly larger.  I have not seen it clinically, however, which at times may not reflect what is said in the path report.

You should consult with your clinician and or Mohs surgeon.



Dr. Malouf

Fort Worth Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

Delay in treating skin cancer by Mohs

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I agree that a nodular basal cell carcinoma does not require immediate treatment. However I would recommend  taking a photograph of  your cheek where the biopsy was taken. Even a cell phone camera may work fine for this. The photo may come in handy if the biopsy site redness fades completely over the next three months making it difficult to tell exactly where the surgery need to be done to get the roots.

If the spot does not photograph well, just circle it with an eyebrow pencil and reshoot the photo. For more information on the surgery to be performed, go to: mohssurgery  dot com.

Enjoy the trip. And don't worry. Those of us that offer Mohs surgery, specialize in making sure that the procedure is as easy as possible on you.

T. Wayne Day, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon

Waiting to treat a basal cell carcinoma

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Basal cell carcinoma is not an agressive skin cancer; it has a tendency to linger and grow slightly larger and deeper with time. Only very rarely does it spread to organs outside skin, such as lymph nodes. Given a small size and non-aggressive  histology (what it looks like under a microscope), you can wait a couple of months to do surgery. Once you identify the time frame that is convinient to you, schedule an appointment right away to avoid further delay.

Larisa Ravitskiy, MD
Columbus Dermatologist

Waiting for Mohs

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This type of tumor is the best kind to have- should you have a skin cancer. Basal cell carcinomas do not usually spread to the bloodstreem or lymph nodes. Given the location and histology, to wait to have the surgery a month or two will likely not change much. The tumor is slowly growing however, and the scar/surgical site will be bigger than it would be if you had not waited.

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.