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Dr. Molly Yancovitz, a dermatology specialist at Mass. Eye and Ear, became interested in medicine very early in life. “My father is a physician, and I remember joining him on rounds at the hospital as a child. He had this amazing ability to be so reassuring with patients; it was very inspiring to witness,” Dr. Yancovitz recalls. Her interest in cutaneous oncology (skin cancer) occurred later in life, during her dermatology training. “In dermatology, we have the ability to detect skin cancers and cure them at very early stages, before these tumors can cause significant morbidity or mortality. This capacity to combine early detection with definitive and tissue-sparing treatments instantly appealed to me.”
A Board Certified member of Mass. Eye and Ear’s Facial and Cosmetic Surgery Center, Dr. Yancovitz primarily treats patients who have been diagnosed with skin cancer and require surgical intervention. Typically, she performs Mohs surgery and other dermatologic surgeries on patients suffering from basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and melanoma, which are found on the outer layers of the skin and are the most common forms of skin cancer.
Dr. Yancovitz explains that Mohs micrographic surgery is the most effective way to treat most types of skin cancer. She says, “Mohs is especially appropriate for cancers that develop in areas where preserving function and physical appearance are important, such as the face. It is also appropriate in areas where tumors have recurred or are likely to recur.” She explains that Mohs surgery is done in stages, while the patient remains in the office. The procedure involves surgically removing the skin cancer layer by layer and examining the tissue under a microscope until healthy, cancer-free tissue around the tumor is reached. “Physicians are able to identify and remove an entire tumor while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue intact and unharmed,” Dr. Yancovitz continues. “This allows us to provide the highest cure rate for these cancers, while sparing the most amount of normal tissue.”
A new member of the Facial and Cosmetic Surgery Center, Dr. Yancovitz enjoys the collaboration and coordinated care that takes place here at Mass. Eye and Ear. “What’s great about Mass. Eye and Ear is the collaboration that takes place across varied disciplines. The wealth of knowledge and level of expertise is just wonderful,” Dr. Yancovitz remarks. “The collaborative environment optimizes my ability to treat patients who are suffering from a variety of tumors and have very specific medical or surgical needs.”
Dr. Yancovitz stresses that, as important as collaborative and coordinated care is, patient education and awareness play a huge role in the treatment process as well. She notes, “Many skin cancers are detected by patients or family members. Identifying and detecting these skin growths early typically results in the best overall outcome for the patient.” Diagnosing and treating skin cancer earlier rather than later causes less scarring, lower morbidity and fewer complications resulting from treatment. Dr. Yancovitz stresses, “One of my biggest challenges as a dermatologic surgeon is helping patients understand the importance of skin cancer awareness and early detection. I just cannot stress that enough to my patients.” To further help in patient education, Dr. Yancovitz enjoys sitting down with her patients and discussing their disease process, various treatment options, and the importance of regular skin examinations. She concludes, “My goal is for patients to feel reassured and comfortable before we begin treatment. I try to ease their anxiety and help them through the treatment process and to deliver the best care possible.”
Contact Dr. Yancovitz’s office at 617-573-3789.
View Dr. Yancovitz’s online bio more information.