Harvard Health Letter

Latest Mohs skin cancer surgery guidelines

Zeroing in on who might be eligible for this first-line treatment.

For the first time, dermatologists now have official guidelines for Mohs surgery, a procedure that removes skin cancer while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. The new Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) for Mohs surgery, approved by a number of dermatologic associations, will help doctors better select patients for the procedure. "There can be a slight bias toward using it for almost all nonmelanoma skin cancers, since Mohs surgery offers the highest cure rate of any surgical procedure for skin cancer," says Dr. Tom Rohrer, a Mohs surgeon at Harvard-affiliated New England Baptist Hospital.

Tips from the doctor

When seeking Mohs surgery:

  • Look for a board-certified dermatologist who's received Mohs training.

  • Make sure your doctor has extensive experience treating your condition.

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