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Home    HealthSense Magazine    2009 Archives    July - September 2009    A Skin Cancer Diagnosis
A Skin Cancer Diagnosis


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When Blanche Trudell of Greenfield, Mo., went to her dermatologist she was given a startling diagnosis. She had skin cancer.

"I had six cancers on my nose and four on my forehead," says Trudell.

She was referred to Dr. Michael Swann, a dermatologist at CoxHealth who specializes in treating skin cancers with Mohs Micrographic Surgery. The benefits of Mohs are high cure rates, skin preservation and it can be done in a doctor's office.

"We use Mohs for sensitive areas, such as eyelids, nose and forehead - places you want to take as little tissue as possible," says Dr. Swann.

During Trudell's Mohs surgery, Dr. Swann marked the skin cancer areas and froze the areas with a local anesthetic. Each tumor, as well as a thin layer of tissue surrounding each tumor was surgically removed and microscopically analyzed.

"If there are still traces of the tumor in the thin layer, the patient has another layer of tissue removed, in order to get all of the tumor's roots," adds Dr. Swann.

Dr. Swann made an incision on Trudell's forehead to remove the skin cancer, as well as removing tissue from the end of her nose. '

"He transplanted skin tissue from my forehead to the tip of my nose," she says. "You can hardly see the scar. In fact, my own sisters didn't notice the scars on my nose." "And, I look younger after having a few wrinkles removed from my forehead," Trudell laughs. Though, she still knows the seriousness of a skin cancer diagnosis and knows where to go if she has any more.

For more information about skin cancer, call 269-5257.

Summer Skin Care

  • Avoid peak sun hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear protective clothing.
  • Use sunscreen on exposed skin - at least SPF 30.
  • Listen to the podcast - "Recognizing skin cancer and treatment options" at

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