Limitations of X-rays vs. Mohs

Mohs surgery can provide improved outcomes for many head and neck cancers, but it is less than ideal for some subsets of patients, such as older persons, those on blood thinners, those with comorbidities, or those with lesions in difficult locations.

“In a limited number of select lesions on select patients, radiation may be as good as or better than Mohs,” said Armand Cognetta, MD, professor and chief of dermatology at the Florida State University College of Medicine, adding that superficial X-ray treatment may be a better option.

Dr. Cognetta will discuss the indications and limitations of superficial radiation therapy during “Outpatient Radiotherapy of Skin Cancer: Back to the Future” (F033) from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday in Room 101.

Mohs surgery has an outstanding cure rate, approaching 98 percent, but some patients are not good surgical candidates or, if given a choice, might not want surgery. A 10-year study of superficial X-ray treatment for basal and squamous cell carcinomas showed a cure rate of about 95 percent.

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