Skin Cancer/MOHS Surgery

With more than one million American people developing skin cancer each year, this type of cancer is the most prevalent. We are all at some risk for skin cancer; the risk is higher for those who sunburn easily or have a genetic predisposition to skin cancer. In addition to direct sun exposure, skin cancer is also linked to regular exposure to arsenic or tar, repeated exposure to x-ray technology, or scars from burns or disease.

Early detection and treatment possible

There are early warning signs for many forms of skin cancer. They appear as small lesions called Actinic Keratosis (AKs), or pre-cancers. Recognizing these scaly, pink spots on scalp, ears, face, neck, chest, arms, or hands can help you avoid skin cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma that is more serious later on. These lesions can be easily treated by your dermatologist, removed through one of a number of procedures.

Our practice offers various approaches to AK lesions, including:
  • Topical medication
  • Cryotherapy (freezing)
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Chemical peels

Types of Skin cancer

The most commonly seen type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma, or BCC. Due to sun exposure and genetic predisposition in some cases, these lesions are commonly seen on the scalp, ears, face, neck, chest, upper back, and hands. In their early stages, BCC lesions can resemble a pimple or bug bite. However, this spot does not heal, as would one of those common blemishes. Treating basal cell carcinoma is important, as untreated lesions can grow and cause damage to surrounding tissues and structures.

Treating basal cell carcinoma with procedures such as excision, Mohs surgery, curettage, cryotherapy, radiation therapy, or topical chemotherapy can lead to complete elimination.

After basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinoma, or SCC, is the second most common skin cancer. The lesions are more frequently seen in those with fair skin. SCC lesions may develop on frequently exposed areas, appearing as a hard, crusty bump or patch of red, scaly skin.

Squamous cell carcinomas can metastasize to other areas of the body, and they should be treated promptly.

Malignant melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, as it can spread throughout the body quickly. This form of cancer may develop in an existing mole that has changed, or as an entirely new lesion, appearing dark brown or black, or possibly light brown or red in color.

Melanoma can occur in any skin type, or any mole. It is important to get to know your moles through monthly self-examinations, and to have any changes evaluated by your dermatologist right away. When diagnosed and treated early, melanoma CAN be cured.

As with other forms of skin cancer, the sun plays a direct role in the development of malignant melanoma. If you have a family history of this type of cancer, or have experienced blistering sunburns during your life, your risk for melanoma is increased. Also, if you have a history of abnormal moles (dysplastic nevi), your risk for a new melanoma is increased. Protect your skin, and your health, with monthly at-home mole checks and routine  examinations with your dermatologist.

The Center for Dermatology and Cosmetic Laser Surgery has the extensive knowledge, tools, and technology to treat and to help prevent skin cancer successfully. Contact us today for your skin examination.

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