Emily Buckley, editor in chief
Cory Maughan, DO, FAOCD, FAAD, was raised in Cache Valley and knew as a child he wanted to be a physician. “I like to fix things,” he said. After studying at Utah State University, attending medical school, and completing a fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery, he was able to return to his hometown and is now practicing dermatology at Rocky Mountain Dermatology and Young Skin Care in North Logan.
Dr. Maughan said that it has been very rewarding to return to the community he grew up in and use his training to help heal patients, including neighbors, family, and friends.
“Dr. Maughan’s specialty in Mohs surgery makes our dermatology practice complete,” Brain Howe, executive director of Rocky Mountain Dermatology and Young Skin Care said. “We think it adds so much to our practice to have a skilled surgeon like Dr. Maughan who can treat patients right here in Cache Valley, rather than sending them on to Salt Lake.”
Mohs Micrographic Surgery was designed to treat skin cancer in areas where you don’t want to leave a scar (head, neck, hands, feet, genitals), or have to go back if you don’t get it all, explained Dr. Maughan.
“Mohs is the gold-standard in removing skin cancer,” he said. “You remove the smallest possible piece needed and get the highest possible cure.”
This specialty allows Dr. Maughan to act as both the surgeon and pathologist when removing skin cancer. “We treat a lot of skin cancer,” he said. “Especially among the Baby Boomer generation that got a lot of sun damage when they were younger and now it is showing itself.”
Dr. Maughan explained that not all skin cancer is deadly. “Most of what we deal with every day are locally destructive cancers,” he said. “Basal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer in the world. It is a quality of life, not a quantity of life, cancer. You aren’t at risk of basal cell carcinoma spreading through your body and killing you, but I have removed noses and ears because of how much skin basal cell carcinoma had eaten away. Sometimes it is an iceberg, so you don’t know how much it has destroyed until you are in there, which is the benefit of Mohs Surgery. I don’t have to wait for results to come back from pathology and have the patient come back so we can remove more; we know while the patient is here.”
Dr. Maughan says the best way to prevent skin cancer is protection. “There are more brands of sunscreen out there than you could probably ever try,” he said. “The best kind is the kind you will use. SPF 30 is the approved minimum recommendation, but I always recommend using the highest SPF you can tolerate.”
He also says to wear clothing that protects you from the sun, but that it is not necessary to avoid the sun completely. “We have to be realists,” Dr. Maugham said. “We have to live our lives. Being outside, and being active, is an important part of being healthy. I don’t say to stay out of the sun, I just say to be smart. Don’t go tanning and don’t forget to wear sunscreen, but don’t stop living life, either.”
Skin Cancer Facts from Dr. Cory Maughan
- 80 percent of the damage that causes skin cancer happens before age 18.
- The most common types of skin cancer are caused by chronic and intermittent sun exposure.
- Most Melanoma patients have a history of tanning in tanning beds.
- Even one blistering sunburn doubles the risk of skin cancer.
- When it comes to skin protection, the biggest mistake is failure to reapply sunscreen. Even the best sunscreen only lasts about two hours, and only one hour when in water.
- Sun protective clothing is another great option for sun protection.
- Warning signs of non-Melanoma skin cancer are almost always a sore or a patch of red, flakey skin that won’t go away. If something has been on your skin for over a month, have it checked.
- A new or changing mole is a sign of Melanoma and should be checked.
- Women should have annual skin checks beginning in their late 20s. Men should begin in their 30s. If there is a personal or family history of skin cancer, checks should begin earlier.