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Skin Cancer removal via Mohs is not ‘Cosmetic Surgery’, it is Skin Cancer Removal
Call on Medicare to recognise Skin Cancer removal via Mohs surgery as a legitimate claim, instead of referring to it as 'cosmetic surgery'.
Why is this important?
The Cancer Council states that 30% of the most common skin cancers of the future will be Basal Cell Carcinoma (BC). Our well respected Actor/Director Hugh Jackman has had re-occurring BC and has helped raise awareness. As well as former Australian cricket captain Richie Benaud. BC is the most common but least aggressive form of skin cancer. It grows slowly, usually on the head, neck and upper torso. It may appear as a lump or dry, scaly area. BC may be red, pale or pearly in colour. As BC grows, it may ulcerate or appear like a sore that fails to completely heal or one that does heal but then breaks down again.
BC, like all other skin cancers needs to be removed as soon as possible. It is well documented that if you leave skin cancers and don’t do anything they can quite easily become fatal. The cure rate with Mohs surgery cited by most studies is between 97% and 99.8%. Unfortunately Medicare does not cover Mohs Surgery Proceedure on BC as it is classified as ‘cosmetic surgery’. Even private health funds view BC removal via Mohs as ‘cosmetic surgery’. Skin specialists, the ones who diagnose skin cancer and treat it via Mohs surgery, but not by other means, are also not on the list of claimable procedures on most health funds and Medicare covers a small percentage of costs, on consultation only.
Mohs procedure is micrographically controlled, it provides precise removal of the cancerous tissue, while healthy tissue is spared. Mohs surgery is also more cost effective to other surgical methods when considering the cost of surgical removal, and separate histopathological analysis. Mohs surgery should be reserved for the treatment of skin cancers in anatomic areas where tissue preservation is of utmost importance face, hands, feet, genitals
Lets please together change the life saving and most effective skin cancer removal procedures that Medicare and Private Health Funds currently view as ‘Cosmetic Surgery’ instead of a necessary skin cancer surgery removal method to save lives. Removing BC is not a beauty choice. This wrong term that is used currently for the most successful surgery method 'Mohs' makes each patients’ out of pocket expense approximately $4,000 on average. Due to this wrong term, Mohs surgery is not claimable on Medicare nor on most Private Health Funds - both will currently reimburse you 0%. Unless this skin cancer surgery is recognised and a Medicare rebate is passed on to skin cancer patients real people will be affected.