Dermatology Associates of Bryn Mawr Medical Specialists

Rochelle R. Weiss, M.D.
Daniel B. Roling, M.D.
Caroline M. Groft-MacFarlane,M.D., Ph.D.
Matthew E. Halpern, M.D.
Danielle M. DeHoratius, M.D.
Michael D. Gober, M.D., Ph.D.
Jocelyn M. Confino, MPAS, P.A.-C
Kathryn M. Smore, MPAS, P.A.-C

Medical Services

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This form of skin cancer arises in the squamous cells that make up most of the skin’s upper layers (epidermis). Squamous cell carcinomas may occur on all areas of the body including the mucous membranes and genitals, but are most common in areas frequently exposed to the sun, such as the rim of the ear, lower lip, face, bald scalp, neck, hands, arms and legs. Often the skin in these areas reveals telltale signs of sun damage, such as wrinkling, changes in pigmentation, and loss of elasticity.
Who Gets It: People who have fair skin, light hair, and blue, green, or gray eyes are at highest risk of developing the disease. But anyone with a history of substantial sun exposure is at increased risk. Those whose occupations require long hours outdoors or who spend extensive leisure time in the sun are in particular jeopardy. Anyone who has had a basal cell carcinoma is also more likely to develop an squamous cell carcinoma, as is anyone with an inherited, highly UV-sensitive condition such as xeroderma pigmentosum.

For more information: http://www.skincancer.org/Squamous-Cell-Carcinoma/

 

Melanoma

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. In its advanced state, it can cause serious illness and even death. Fortunately, melanoma rarely strikes without warning. Learn how to identify melanoma, how it spreads and what treatments are available.
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. However, if it is recognized and treated early, it is nearly 100 percent curable. But if it is not, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal. While it is not the most common of the skin cancers, it causes the most deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2008, there will be 8,420 fatalities in the U.S., 5,400 in men and 3,020 in women. The number of new cases of invasive melanoma is estimated at 62,480; of these, 34,950 will be in men and 27,350 in women.  For more information:  www.skincancer.org

 

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer, affecting approximately one million Americans each year. In fact, it is the most common of all cancers. More than one out of every three new cancers are skin cancers, and the vast majority are basal cell carcinomas. These cancers arise in the basal cells, which line the deepest layer of the epidermis (top skin layer).
Almost all basal cell carcinomas occur on parts of the body excessively exposed to the sun — especially the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders, and back. On rare occasions, however, tumors develop on unexposed areas. In a few cases, contact with arsenic, exposure to radiation, open sores that resist healing, chronic inflammatory skin conditions, and complications of burns, scars, infections, vaccinations, or even tattoos are contributing factors.  For more information: http://www.skincancer.org/

 

MOHS Skin Cancer Surgery

What is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is a microscopically guided procedure for skin cancer removal.  It was developed more than 60 years ago by Fredrick Mohs (pronounced “moze”), a medical student at the University of Wisconsin.  Since that time, the technique has been advanced and refined.  Today, it is considered the standard of care for treating skin cancers in cosmetically sensitive areas and for certain other hard to treat skin cancers.

Mohs Micrographic Surgery is an advanced treatment process for skin cancer that offers the highest possible cure rate for many skin cancers and simultaneously minimizes the sacrifice of normal tissue. This cutting-edge treatment requires highly specialized physicians that serve as surgeon, pathologist and reconstructive surgeon. 

The microscopic analysis of resected tissue allows the surgeon to track the removal of the cancer and ensure the complete elimination of all tumor roots. As tumors often extend below intact normal skin (like the roots of a tree) this procedure allows the surgeon to see beyond the visible tumor to ensure its complete removal. 

The technique is most often used to remove the two most common forms of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The cure rates for Mohs Micrographic Surgery approach 99% for most primary (untreated) cancers with a slightly lower cure rate for secondary or recurrent (previously treated) cancers. While limiting the sacrifice of uninvolved tissue, this specialized procedure preserves the greatest amount of normal tissue. This benefit of the procedure provides the foundation for the best reconstructions and limits scarring or permanent disfigurement. 

Mohs Micrographic Surgery remains the most effective method of removing non-melanotic skin cancer (basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, sebaceous carcinoma, Extramammary Paget's disease, Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, etc.) available anywhere in the world today.

Who performs Mohs Surgery?

Dr. Halpern is a fellowship trained Mohs Surgeon.  He attended Harvard Medical School and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital.  He was chief resident of Dermatology at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital-Columbia University and completed a 2-year fellowship in Mohs Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology at New York Presbyterian Hospital- Columbia University.  Dr. Halpern is Board Certified in Dermatology.

A specialized team of several surgical assistants, a technician who prepares the tissue for microscopic examination, and our office staff, assist Dr. Halpern.

 


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