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Skin-cancer-removal and reconstruction

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:46 pm
While skin cancers can appear anywhere on the body, a majority occur on the face, head, and neck, where sun exposure tends to be greatest. Most skin cancers are surgically removed. Either by cutting the tissue out through a small incision or by using electric current to scrape away malignant skin and destroy surrounding cancer cells. Skin cancer may also be treated with cryosurgery (CRY-oh-sur-jur-ee), or freezing; radiation therapy; topical chemotherapy drugs; and Mohs (Moze) surgery. During Mohs surgery, one layer of tissue after another is shaved off, until it appears that all the cancer has been eliminated. If the cancer is deep or extensive, large amounts of tissue or even bone may have to be removed, and afterward, reconstructive surgery is sometimes needed to restore a more normal appearance. A plastic surgeon can use many techniques to rebuild damaged structures, including the transfer of bone, muscle, or skin from other sites on the body.
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