Recently one of the top health officials of Nova Scotia, Canada, had to travel to receive a skin cancer surgery. Now the health department has approved the surgery for the province and a Halifax dermatologist has offered the procedure.
The unnatural growth of the skin cells is termed as skin cancer. Mostly, its reason is exposure to UV radiation. The treatment of cancer has always been painful and is limited to some range of age. Not every cancer patient can bear the treatment difficulties. Therefore, researchers have been trying to develop better treatment methods for years.
There are 3 varieties of skin cancer: squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. To avoid skin cancer, avoiding direct contact with UV radiation is necessary. Moreover, one must get medical assistance if he notices anything strange with the skin. This will help in the early detection of cancer and thus, the chances of cure will increase.
In an interview, Dr. Michael Stevens said that Mohs surgery may allow some patients to get rid of invasive surgeries. It is so because Mohs surgery removes thin layers of cancer-containing skin.
In addition, he said that older methods of surgery may end up in radiation therapy or a part of the eye or ear may have to be removed.
Stevens told me that he has been working on it for three years for approval of the billing code.
After the approval of the Health Department, the Health Authorities of Nova Scotia announced to provide billing code for the procedure previously this year.
In Ontario, the “micrographic” surgeons have been using the procedure for over thirty years. It is a very slow process as it removes tumors in parts. Dermatologists examine the tissue after removal. Tests confirm the elimination.
Dr. Steven said that in other parts of Canada the procedure is used and he is trying the same in Nova Scotia. He said that he is waiting for equipment to start the surgery.
He had “verbal commitment” with the health agency to help in purchasing equipment. However, the ongoing pandemic has slowed down the purchasing.
Dr. Robert Strang, the provincial chief medical officer of health, had to travel to New Brunswick for the treatment. Nova Scotia’s Health Department has confirmed it recently.
Strang was absent from pandemic briefings because he was in 14-day quarantine prior to traveling to New Brunswick.
Dr. Christian Murray, a dermatologist, was very happy with the approval of surgery in Nova Scotia. He said that it is a good thing but a long waiting list is an issue across the country.
He said that Stevens will have a large number of patients once the surgery equipment is there and treatment is started. People believe Mohs surgery is a very high standard procedure to cure different types of skin cancer.
Murray said that this saves finances for the procedure due to the need for an outpatient clinic. Moreover, it decreases the possibility of the return of patients for further operations if the first time proves to be ineffective.
According to the Health Department in Nova Scotia, 1,000 patients will utilize the facility annually.
Importantly, the fee will be approximately $700 for this procedure.