Types of Skin Cancer:
Basal Cell Carcinoma: Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of cancer found in the United States, affecting up to 800,000 people annually. This cancer is related to but not dependent on UV exposure and, therefore, generally affects older adults with fair skin. It can appear in younger patients, as well. It usually appears as a pearly, pink, flat area or nodule that bleeds easily. It is most commonly found on the face.
While these cancers rarely metastasize and cause life-threatening problems, they can be locally invasive and destructive to the underlying bone and tissue. For this reason, we aggressively treat Basal Cell Carcinomas. The type, size, and location of the cancer will determine the treatment type utilized.
Malignant melanoma is a potentially life-threatening skin cancer. While it is rarer than basal and squamous cell carcinomas, its incidence is increasing, with more than 55,000 new cases being diagnosed each year in the United States. Melanoma is dangerous because, if not caught early, it can have a high rate of metastasis and can affect other organs in your body. It is important to catch melanoma early so that it can be treated before it has a chance to grow and spread. Since melanomas can metastasize to other areas of the body and cause life-threatening consequences, it is important to catch melanoma while it is small. If caught early, melanoma is very treatable and has a high cure rate. Due to the serious nature of melanoma, we aggressively treat areas that are suspicious of melanoma. We use surgical excision to treat the melanoma. They need to be surgically excised to ensure that no residual tumor is left behind.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the 2nd most common skin cancer. Up to 250,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. It most commonly occurs in adults with fair skin who have had abundant sun exposure. Sun-exposed areas are the most common areas to find SCCs. They typically present as scaling, hard plaques or nodules that can bleed or ulcerate easily.
SCCs are more aggressive than BCCs and can be locally invasive and have the potential to metastasize. For this reason, we aggressively treat SCCs in order to prevent them from spreading to other areas. There are a variety of treatment options that are available to treat SCCs, and the type of treatment utilized is dependent on the type, size, and location of the cancer.
What should I look for
Cancers can appear anywhere on the body. The first signs of most cancers are usually an unusual-looking mole. A good way to remember what spots should be suspected is to use the mnemonic ABCDE:
- B-border irregularity
- C-color variation
- D-diameter -6mm
- E-evolving (enlarging, color changes)
Skin Cancer has a few treatment options, including:
- Electrodesiccation and curettage
- Surgical Excision
- Mohs Micrographic Surgery
- Radiation Therapy