Mohs’ paste (black salve) still recommended

dr perry robins
Dr. Perry Robins

According to Dr. Perry Robins, cancer treatment has changed a lot since fifty years ago, when doctors used surgical excision, radiation, or curettage with electrodesiccation. Success rates were then about 90% for a primary tumor and 50% or less for recurring tumors. Mohs’ paste provided far better outcomes in the Sixties.

The stand-out success of Mohs’ Paste

More methods are employed these days, but strangely, a technique that came of age during the sixties remains the stand-out success story – Mohs’ technique.

With a success rate of 98-99% for primary lesions and 96% for recurrences of tumors that had already been treated by other methods, Mohs incurred the outrage of the medical community when his technique was first publicized… heart attack and die of “not surprise” time.

Dr Mohs

Mohs’ Research

In the thirties, Frederic Edward Mohs pioneered “chemosurgery” using a paste of zinc chloride and bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis). The paste “fixed” tumors and allowed them to be more easily removed. It also gave a much better cosmetic result, as more aggressive surgery was not necessary and healthy tissue was spared. As the final step, he allowed the eschar to form after the last application of the paste, and slough away naturally, leaving clean healthy tissue. Of course. It all seems obvious now with 20-20 hindsight.

From skincancer.org

When Dr. Mohs first spoke of chemosurgery at a conference of plastic surgeons, he was greeted with nearly universal dismay and skepticism. When I began to practice the technique in 1965, only one out of every five dermatologists and possibly one of out every 20 physicians were aware that this technique for treating skin cancers even existed.


Further Reading

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