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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jean-Paul Azzi

Treating Skin Cancer in South Florida

SOUTH FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Damage from harmful rays can occur in less than 15 minutes of sun exposure.

And if you’re like most Floridians, you often spend more than fifteen minute increments in direct sunlight.

According to Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Health of America report, four out of five of the American cities with the highest skin-cancer rates are in Florida. FOUR out of FIVE.

In addition, The Melanoma Foundation reported that approximately one in every ten Floridians has been told they have skin cancer. Let me say it louder for the people in the back. ONE in TEN. These statistics are alarming, but if you do happen to fall in that subset of the population, understand that when it comes to treatment, you certainly have options.

One of the most innovative skin cancer treatment procedures in modern technology is Mohs micrographic surgery - named in the 1930s after its founder, Dr. Frederick Mohs. This is a procedure where individual layers of the cancer tissue are removed and then examined under a microscope, one at a time. This process is completed in stages, while the patient waits, and is not considered complete until all the cancer tissue is removed. This actually reduces the patient’s chances of needing any future treatment to the area.

One of the most impressive traits of Mohs surgery is the incredible cure rate it has for skin cancer that has not been treated before – the cure rate for this procedure is at just under 100%.

Mohs surgery is most often used to address two of the most common forms of skin cancer, basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas that are aggressively growing in size, with clear and defined edges. Lab work for each layer of tissue is typically done on-site, making it a single-visit outpatient procedure where only local anesthesia is required.

If skin cancer was found on a patient’s face or ears, once all of the cancer tissue is removed, the patient’s dermatologist will likely refer him or her to an experienced facial plastic surgeon for Mohs reconstruction. The facial plastic surgeon will close the hole, which requires a high level of skill, training, and experience. There are several different techniques available for Mohs reconstruction and the technique that is used is really dependent upon the size and location of the wound.

Of course, the job of the surgeon is to leave the smallest possible scar, and that can take real talent. Based in Palm Beach and Martin County, Doctor Jean-Paul Azzi is a double-board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon who specializes in procedures such as Mohs reconstruction surgery. Dr. Azzi, prides himself on his precision, accuracy and attention to detail that allows him to leave the most miniscule scars that are nearly imperceptible to the human eye. He is a big proponent of Mohs Surgery and says there’s a reason why new procedures get performed less than Mohs.

CLICK HERE for Before & After photos. Warning: graphic content.

When it comes to skin cancer, early detection is key, so check your skin regularly for atypical moles, or any other markings that marks that are unusual in color, size, shape, or texture. We also strongly recommend visiting a dermatologist for annual skin checks.

If you’re in South Florida and have any questions about Mohs surgery or any other particular treatment, we welcome you to visit Dr. Azzi at one of his beautiful offices conveniently located in Jupiter and Palm City, Florida. These offices serve patients in the following South Florida areas and beyond: Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Tequesta, Hobe Sound, Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach and Vero Beach.

Each and every patient receives personalized treatment. If you would like more information on Mohs Surgery, or any other type of procedure, call us and schedule a consultation (561) 429-5403.

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