Conditions Treated
Our Team
Patient Resources
Contact Us

Treating Skin Cancer with Mohs Surgery: Hugh Jackman’s Journey

Book An Appointment
hugh jackman mohs surgery

Discover the Precision Technique Used by the Actor to Remove BCCs

Skin cancer is extremely common, with over 5 million cases diagnosed in the United States each year. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) accounts for around 90% of all skin cancer cases, making it the most frequently occurring form. 

Though rarely fatal, BCC can be highly disfiguring if left untreated. Actor Hugh Jackman has brought awareness to BCC and the specialized surgical technique used to treat it – Mohs surgery.

What Is Mohs Surgery?

Mohs surgery is considered the “gold standard” for removing certain common skin cancers like BCC. The defining feature of Mohs is its precision approach: examining tissue under a microscope during the procedure to map out exactly where cancer cells are and remove only that tissue.

During Mohs surgery, the skin cancer is removed layer by layer.  This mapping technique continues until no more cancer is detected and only healthy tissue remains. This ensures complete removal of cancer while preserving as much healthy skin as possible.

Mohs surgery offers the highest cure rates of any skin cancer treatment, up to 99% for certain cancers like BCC. By removing only diseased tissue, it minimizes scarring and avoids removing extra healthy skin unnecessarily. 

Mohs results in the smallest wounds possible for the highest cure rates. It’s extremely useful for cancers on the sensitive face area near eyes, nose, and ears where scarring could impact function.

Why Does Hugh Jackman Use Mohs Surgery?

Hugh Jackman has been very open about his experiences with BCC, undergoing Mohs surgery multiple times. The actor first noticed an unusual mark on his nose in 2013 that was diagnosed as BCC. Since then, he’s had at least 5 Mohs procedures to remove BCCs on his nose and face.

“I know you’ve heard me talk about my basal cell carcinomas before. I’m going to keep talking about them, if need be. And if it reminds even one person to put on sunscreen with a high SPF, then I’m happy.”

Jackman posted on his Instagram account, stressing the importance of basal cell carcinoma awareness. His openness aims to encourage early detection and sun safety.

Don't Gamble with Your Skin - Book a Consult Immediately with Dr. Gary Mendese if You See Odd Growths

When Did Hugh Jackman Undergo Mohs?

Hugh Jackman has undergone multiple Mohs surgeries over the years to treat basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) on his nose.

In 2013, at age 33, Jackman had his first Mohs surgery to remove a BCC from his nose. Despite this early skin cancer diagnosis and treatment, the actor has continued to develop additional BCCs on his nose over the years.

In 2015, Jackman underwent a second round of Mohs surgery, again on his nose, to treat another BCC. Just a year later in 2016, he underwent Mohs surgery for a third time to remove another carcinoma on his nose.

Jackman's skin cancer continued to return, requiring more treatment. In 2017, he had another Mohs procedure on his nose to remove a recurrent BCC.

Most recently in 2022, it was reported that Jackman had undergone yet another Mohs surgery to treat basal cell carcinoma on his nose. This marks his fifth Mohs procedure in the span of just 9 years, showcasing how diligent Jackman has had to be about detecting and treating skin cancers given his increased susceptibility.

Despite multiple invasive skin cancer surgeries, Jackman has remained positive and vigilant about his skin health.

What Is Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of skin cancer, accounting for over 4 million cases diagnosed each year in the United States. BCC arises from abnormal and uncontrolled growth of basal cells, which are found in the outermost layer of the skin.

Risk Factors for BCCExplanation
Excessive sun exposure, especially from UV raysUV radiation from sun causes DNA damage that can trigger mutations in skin cells, leading to BCC
Fair or light skin toneFair and light skin is more susceptible to UV damage and at higher risk of BCC
Advancing age (over 40)Most BCC cases occur in people over age 40
Genetic predispositionsCertain genetic factors can make some people prone to developing BCC even with minimal sun exposure
Radiation exposurePrior radiation exposure increases risk of BCC
Immune system suppressionWeakened immune system is associated with higher BCC risk

BCC typically develops on sun-exposed areas like the head, neck, and arms as a round patch or bump. Common symptoms include:

  • A pearly or waxy bump on the skin that is translucent or flesh-colored
  • A brown, black or blue lesion that looks like a scar
  • A flat scaly patch that is pink or red
  • A white, waxy scar-like lesion
  • An open sore that bleeds or crusts and does not heal

While BCC rarely metastasizes, it can be locally invasive and destructive if untreated. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent disfigurement or extensive tissue damage.

Don't Delay with BCC - Book a Mohs Surgery Consult with Dermatology & Skin Health for Precise Removal

Is Mohs Right for You?

Mohs micrographic surgery is often the treatment of choice for common skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. It may be the best option for you, especially if any of the following apply:

  1. The cancer is on your face, ears, hands, neck or other highly visible areas where removing as little tissue as possible is important for cosmetic outcomes. Mohs allows precise removal of cancerous cells while maximizing preservation of surrounding healthy tissue.
  2. The cancer is large or deep. Mohs is advantageous for larger tumors where it is critical to map out and ensure all cancerous cells are removed. The process can also allow removal of deep root-like extensions of tumors.
  3. The location means preserving healthy tissue is critical. Sensitive areas around the eyes, nose, mouth and other facial features especially benefit from Mohs' tissue-sparing capabilities.
  4. The cancer is recurring after previous treatment. Recurrent cancers may indicate residual tumor roots that were not fully removed. Mohs offers a precise way to remove the entire tumor and identify any areas needing additional removal.
  5. Scar tissue is present from previous procedures. The Mohs technique is customized to patient anatomy and can effectively remove cancers even in areas with scar tissue.
  6. Complete margin evaluation is needed. Mohs provides certainty that margins are 100% clear through instant microscopic analysis of all removed tissue. This is superior to standard techniques.

Tips to Prevent Skin Cancer

While Mohs surgery offers a highly effective treatment, prevention is critical. To reduce skin cancer risk, dermatologists recommend:

  • Applying broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen daily
  • Avoiding peak sun hours between 10am-2pm
  • Wearing UV-protective clothing like hats and sunglasses
  • Performing regular self skin-checks
  • Getting annual skin exams by a dermatologist

The combination of prevention, early detection, and Mohs surgery provides the best opportunity for positive outcomes when facing common skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma.

Get a Skin Cancer Screening Today

If you have concerns about a suspicious spot or lesion, don’t delay. Skin cancer caught early has the highest cure rates. Dr. Gary Mendese is a board-certified dermatologist and fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon offering comprehensive skin cancer screenings, detection, and Mohs surgery at Dermatology & Skin Health. 

Book an appointment to get peace of mind knowing your skin is healthy or receive prompt treatment if any areas of concern are found. With specialized expertise in Mohs surgery and a patient-first philosophy focused on your health, wellness, and beauty, you’re in the very best of care.

Related Posts