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Thomas' Story

Thomas' Story

Thomas Holbrook remembers summers on Spofford Lake working at summer camps and as a golf caddy. He said he remembers a lot of sunburns and was first diagnosed with skin cancer 20 years ago. The specialized treatments he needed required the Keene resident to travel an hour to another facility for about a half-dozen years. About five years ago, he began to visit Dr. Gregory Seymour, Dermatologist at CMC/DHK’s then new Dermatology office, housed in a modern suite of offices in a new building on Railroad Street. The department’s scope of services was expanded to include specialized treatments for skin care, including the Mohs Micrographic Surgery for skin cancer that Thomas needed.

Dr. Robert Guardiano performs Mohs surgery, which allows for selective removal of skin cancer with the preservation of as much of the surrounding normal tissue as is possible. The surgery involves removing a skin cancer one layer at a time and examining these layers under a microscope immediately after they are removed. This allows a minimal amount of tissue to be affected while making sure all the cancer cells are removed. This offers the highest chance for complete removal of the cancer while sparing normal tissue, and the cure rate is 99 percent.

Thomas has had about eight Mohs surgeries and is grateful for the talent and caring of the Dermatology team. “They check on you during treatment,” he said. “The day after treatment, Dr. Guardiano calls me first thing to check in. I tell all my friends about the great team here in Keene – I wouldn’t think of going anywhere else.”

Excessive exposure to sunlight is the single most important factor associated with the development of skin cancers, especially in those with fair complexions. Thomas now wears sunscreen daily, between 30 and 50 SPF, avoids the sun when possible, and wears one of the 20 hats in his collection whenever he’s outside to lessen direct sun exposure. He has a check-up every six months with Dr. Seymour. “They give my whole body a once-over,” he said. If he ever has concerns about anything, he added, he reaches out and has his answers quickly. If needed, he comes right into the office for evaluation. “It’s so convenient to have this facility right here in Keene.”