Statistics on skin cancer can sound scary. One in five people are diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. More than 5.4 million skin cancers are treated in the United States each year. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and incidence rates have been climbing for 30 years. And on and on…

We all enjoy being outdoors on a warm, sunny day, but we also know that too much ultraviolet radiation can be very damaging to our skin. In fact, our skin’s DNA stores radiation damage, which can show up years later as leathery skin or skin cancer. And don’t worry about vitamin D deficiency. You can get all the vitamin D you need from a bottle at your local pharmacy or grocery store.

The good news is that almost all skin cancers can be cured if diagnosed and removed early enough. In fact, Mohs Micrographic Surgery can remove up to 99 percent of most skin cancers.

I’m Dr. Brett Coldiron, and my team of board-certified physicians and I at the Skin Cancer Center have used Mohs Surgery to successfully cure more than 50,000 skin cancers since 1992, including several Cincinnati celebrities such as baseball great Johnny Bench, radio personality Jerry Thomas and pro golfer Kelly Baylor-Shelton.

Once you develop a skin cancer, your risk of developing more increases. I tell all my patients to be sure to check their skin regularly. The best way to remember is to check your “birthday suit” on your birthday! And ask your physician about any suspicious areas to see if a biopsy is needed. See a dermatologist for:

  • An open sore that bleeds, scabs and doesn’t heal for more than two weeks.
  • New moles that are irregular in shape, have two or more color variations, are greater in size than a pencil eraser, and seem to be changing.

With Mohs Surgery, skin cancer can be removed in a Mohs-accredited dermatologist’s office under local anesthesia. All cancer is removed, leaving the smallest possible hole. This is especially critical in areas like the face, ears and neck. Here’s what you can expect when having Mohs Surgery at the Skin Cancer Center:

  • Under local anesthesia, and a sedative if necessary, the surface of the cancer is shaved off first to confirm the diagnosis.
  • The visible cancer is scraped to determine where the roots go, and a thin layer of skin is cut out.
  • The tissue is processed on-site and reviewed to make sure all the cancer is out.
  • The process is repeated two to three times in the same day so that all cancer, but the smallest amount of tissue, is removed.

We advise follow up and ongoing observation for at least five years after surgery. If there is a recurrence of skin cancer, it will usually be within the first year. Immediate detection and removal is very important.

Voted “Top Doctors in Cincinnati” for 16 years in a row, the experts at the Skin Cancer Center guide patients through each stage of their treatment and help take the fight out of skin cancer so you can get back to being you. Dr. Brett Coldiron has received numerous peer and industry awards for skin cancer education and patient advocacy. He was recently the youngest dermatologist to receive the American Academy of Dermatology Association’s Lifetime Membership Award. The Skin Cancer Center is the only Joint Commission accredited Mohs Micrographic Surgery facility in Ohio. Learn more about the center at skincancercenter.net and subscribe to the Skin Cancer Center YouTube channel for videos highlighting skin cancer facts and advice as well as personal stories from local celebrities who have had skin cancer.