How Can Skin Cancers Be Treated
Skin cancers can be treated via a number of methods depending on the type of cancer, its stage of growth and location on your body. Methods include skin cancer creams, for early or shallow lesions, scraping techniques, or full surgical removal that may require a reconstructive procedure.
Most significant skin cancers are best removed surgically. Some of the surgical options may entail relocating the surrounding skin of the cancer after it has been removed or using skin from other body areas to cover the treated area . Even complex skin cancers such as those that appear on the face can be successfully removed with very subtle scarring, leaving the best possible cosmetic result.
What Does Skin Cancer Look Like
Because many types of skin cancer can mimic the appearance of a mole or freckle, cancerous lesions or tumors can often be overlooked until they are at an advanced stage. New or suspicious-looking moles, freckles and growths should always be examined by a dermatologist and may be sent to a plastic surgeon for removal.
For melanoma specifically, the classic ABCDEs of melanoma diagnosis are:
- Asymmetry: If you were to split the growth in half, the two sides would not be mirror images of each other
- Border: Melanomas have irregular borders
- Color: Melanomas usually have more than one color, as opposed to benign skin growths
- Diameter: Melanomas are typically bigger than the average mole or freckle
- Evolution: Unlike noncancerous skin growths, melanomas will get bigger over time
Central Iowas Only Female Plastic Surgeon In West Des Moines Ia
Removing skin cancer is important to protect your overall health, but this procedure can compromise your appearance. If youre worried about skin cancer scars impacting your self-confidence, talk to Suzie Kuhnen, DO, at Iowa Specialty Surgeons in West Des Moines, Iowa. She helps men and women through skin cancer reconstruction. To learn more about how she can remove skin cancer while protecting your appearance, call the office or schedule a visit online today.
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Why Choose Dr Garazo For Your Skin Cancer Treatment In Maryland
Dr. Garazo has over 20 years of experience providing patients in Maryland with plastic and reconstructive services. His many years of training and education make him well-qualified to perform skin cancer removal surgery, including modified Mohs surgery and frozen section pathology services. As a plastic surgery, Dr. Garazo will apply the same technique and skill he uses for cosmetic surgery procedures, ensuring your results will look as best as possible after reconstruction.
Typically, Dr. Garazo is able to accept new patient appointments within just two to three weeks, meaning you can get started on any necessary treatment as soon as possible. Our offices are private, comfortable, and well-appointed, and our friendly staff will make you feel at home as soon as you walk through the doors. All skin cancer removal and reconstructive surgeries are performed at Dr. Garazos on-site, AAAASF accredited surgical facility, and we work only with board certified anesthesiologists and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists to ensure the highest level of patient safety.
Our office accepts medicare and most insurance providers. To find out more or schedule an appointment with Dr. Garazo, we encourage you to or contact us online today.
What Are The Risks Associated With Skin Cancer Surgery
Although usually straight forward, skin cancer surgery can be associated with the following risks:
- Wound infection: this may present as redness or discomfort or discharge, and may require a course of antibiotics.
- Bleeding, bruising, and haematoma: haematoma refers to a collection of blood that needs to be removed in the operating room.
- Delayed wound healing: skin grafts may not completely take, resulting in further dressings being required.
- Scarring: scars are initially lumpy, but settle down over months. Rarely they may be permanently lumpy or thick .
- Incomplete excision: there is a small risk that the lesion is incompletely excised at the time of surgery, resulting in further surgery being recommended.
- Skin cancer surgery is like any surgical procedures in that it carries risks therefore before having any operation you should always speak to an appropriately qualified health practitioner about these potential risks.
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I Have Been Advised I Have Pre Cancerous Skin Growths What Is This
There are also a number of pre-cancerous skin growths, such as solar keratosis, which require treatment before they develop into skin cancers.
Solar keratoses, also referred to as actinic keratoses or sunspots, occurs from excess sun exposure, causing the skin to develop red, crusty patches. This condition commonly occurs on the face, neck, hands, forearms and ears. To prevent solar keratoses from becoming worse, it is recommend to stay out of the sun as much as possible, always wear sunscreen when going outside, and try to wear clothing that can protect your skin from harmful sun rays.
Skin Grafting And Reconstructive Surgery
After surgery to remove a large basal or squamous cell skin cancer, it may not be possible to stretch the nearby skin enough to stitch the edges of the wound together. In these cases, healthy skin can be taken from another part of the body and grafted over the wound to help it heal and to restore the appearance of the affected area. Other reconstructive surgical procedures, such as moving ‘flaps’ of nearby skin over the wound, can also be helpful in some cases.
Healing By Secondary Intention
Secondary intention healing involves allowing the wound to heal spontaneously without suturing the edges together. During the healing time the wound needs to be cleaned regularly and ointment is typically applied several times per day to keep the wound moist. Depending on the size of the wound, healing can take weeks to months to complete, but eventually the open wound is covered with a new layer of skin that has grown in from the edges. Wounds that heal by secondary intention typically have more scar contraction and may have a lighter color or slight depression in height compared to surrounding skin. For most locations of the head and neck, secondary intention is not an ideal method of wound closure for these reasons. In specific circumstances, however, secondary intention healing may be recommended as a simple method of wound closure that does not require sutures or additional incisions.
Dermatologic Surgery Or Plastic Surgery For Your Skin Cancer
Massachusetts Dermatology Associates provides cutting edge surgical treatment with its state-of-the-art surgical facility and Mohs unit in Beverly, MA which is directed by Dr. Deborah Cummins. The question is sometimes raised by patients who are diagnosed with skin cancers at Massachusetts Dermatology Associates whether they will get a better outcome if they visit a plastic surgeon for treatment of these cancers.
What is Mohs surgery? Mohs surgery is a technique developed by Dr. Fredrick Mohs in the 20th century and later optimized wherein the dermatologic surgeon functions as both a pathologist and surgeon. Rather than cutting out the tumor and sending it to a pathologist for analysis , the Mohs surgeon reads his or her own pathology at the time of the surgery and is able to remove small pieces of skin cancer that remains on the edges of the treatment area in successive stages, ensuring that there are clear surgical margins by the end of the surgery. To be clear: When patients go home at the end of the day of Mohs surgery, they know that the cancer is gone explains Dr. Cummins. Mohs surgery is most routinely performed on non-melanoma skin cancer and has a reported cure rate of approximately 97%-99% for most squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas.
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What Are The Different Types Of Skin Cancer
There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Additionally, acitinic keratosis is a scaly growth that sometimes turns into squamous cell carcinoma.
Basal cell carcinoma : The most common type of skin cancer, these growths are usually red or pink and look like open sores or angry welts.
Squamous cell carcinoma : These skin lesions present as thick, rough patches that look like warts and may bleed.
Melanoma: The least common type of the major types of skin cancer, but also the deadliest and the most likely to spread .
Commonly Used Terms Basal Cell Carcinoma Squamous Cell Carcinoma And Melanoma
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world Skin cancer surgery PerthBody skin cancer surgery – PerthDr Lewis Blennerhassett is a leading Specialist Plastic Surgeon and has more than 20 years experience in treatment of all forms of skin cancer and scar minimisation. The skin cancer surgery he provides covers the main types of skin cancerbasal cell carcinomasquamous cell carcinomamelanomaDr Blennerhassett has performed skin cancer surgery in Perth on all parts of the body for adult patients of all ages with some of his patients having had as many as several hundred skin cancers removed over a 20 year period.What causes skin cancer?Some factors that increase your risk of skin cancer include
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Seek Comprehensive Care If Your Skin Cancer Is Complicated To Treat
Complicated skin cancer may require the expertise of multiple specialists. Plastic surgeons may get involved when the cosmetic challenges are significant. An ocular surgeon or an oculoplastic specialist may be needed if you have an especially difficult-to-treat skin cancer close to the eye. A head and neck surgeon may join your care team if there is nerve involvement or if the cancer is too extensive for local anesthesia.
The beauty of a comprehensive cancer center like MSK is that the expertise is all here, says Dr. Lee. We have a multidisciplinary program especially for people with complex skin cancer. You can usually see all of your doctors on the same day and in the same location. The dermatology team works with you to coordinate your appointments with your schedule.
Researching Skin Cancer Treatment Options
Unfortunately, that is not what happened. The doctor looked at my face and said rather bluntly You have skin cancer and Im going to do radiation. I was shocked to hear that I had skin cancer, but not shocked enough that I readily agreed to radiation. The thought of having radiation so close to my eye was unsettling, and this began my journey of researching skin cancer treatment options. This also began my journey of having surgery to have areas of skin cancer removed.
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Does A Skin Biopsy Always Go To A Dermatopathologist
There are between 1,500 and 2,000 dermatopathologists in the U.S., and many of the millions of skin biopsies done by dermatologists or their physician assistants each year go to them, says Dr. Hitchcock. It would be rare for a dermatologist to send a biopsy willingly to a general pathologist, although some family practitioners might.
However, in some cases, an insurance plan or group practice may specify a lab where a biopsy must be sent. So youre not always guaranteed that youll have a dermatopathologist look at your case, says Dr. Duncan. This can make it difficult for dermatologists, who often develop a close professional relationship with one dermatopathologist whose opinion they trust, says Dr. Hitchcock. When the doctors work together regularly, they develop a consistency and clarity of communication that is much more refined and precise, and the nuances are better understood.
How Are Tumors Excised From Complex Areas
Excision of tumors on some parts of the body can be tricky. Tricky areas include the face, ear, scalp, sole of the foot, fingers, and toes. If tumors are excised from these areas, it may not be possible to stretch the skin over the site to close it. Special repairs may be needed.1 Examples of repair procedures are skin grafts or flaps. Margins in these areas may be smaller.3
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What Does Skin Cancer Surgery Involve
Skin cancer removal is a specialist procedure performed by Perth Plastic Surgeon Dr. David Colbert.
Smaller skin cancers can be removed under local anaesthesia, and as day case surgery, meaning you can go home the same day. Once the lesion is removed, the wound is closed with sutures , a dressing applied is applied, and specific follow up instructions with Dr. Colbert are given to you.
Larger skin cancers may be removed under local anaesthesia with some sedation, or sometimes under general anaesthesia . In some cases the wound may be too big to close directly with sutures, and a skin graft or flap may be required. If these treatments are necessary then Dr. Colbert will be discuss them with you during your pre-operative consultation.
Skin Cancer Surgery Reconstruction
According to the American Cancer Society, the number of skin cancer diagnoses have been on the rise and they estimate that 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year. This makes skin cancers, such as Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma, some of the most common forms of cancer in the U.S.
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What Should I Expect Before During And After Excision
The best type of doctor and setting for excision will depend on tumor size, location, and type. Thin melanomas and low-risk non-melanoma skin cancers can be excised in a doctors office. A numbing medicine will be injected at the tumor. After the procedure, you will be given instructions on how to care for the incision.
Excision of thicker melanomas may be done at the same time as sentinel lymph node biopsy. This procedure is usually done at the hospital under general anesthesia. Often it is an outpatient surgery, although sometimes patients stay overnight.
Should Skin Cancer Be Removed
Basal or squamous cell skin cancers may need to be removed with procedures such as electrodessication and curettage, surgical excision, or Mohs surgery, with possible reconstruction of the skin and surrounding tissue. Squamous cell cancer can be aggressive, and our surgeons may need to remove more tissue.
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Work With The Same Team From Your First Appointment To Your Final Follow
Skin cancer diagnosis and treatment can be a complicated process involving numerous physicians. This means that you could be bouncing from one physicians office to the next throughout the process, which can be stressful and inconvenient. Working with a plastic surgeon largely removes the need for other specialists, allowing you to work with one doctor and team from beginning to end.
At our practice, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Henry Garazo and his experienced staff can meet all of your needs for the entirety of your skin cancer treatment, including:
- Excision surgery
- Reconstructive surgery
Because you will be working with one office, you will only need to provide your medical information once and can rest assured that you are in capable hands that are familiar with your unique circumstances throughout your entire treatment.
A Comprehensive Treatment Plan Can Ensure Better Results
While the most important factor of treatment is ensuring all of the cancer is gone, most patients are also concerned about what the area will look like after surgery. Unlike other physicians, plastic surgeons are specifically trained to approach surgery with an eye for both function and appearance, making them uniquely qualified to provide you with the best looking results.
During skin cancer removal surgery, your plastic surgeon will work hard to protect as much healthy tissue as possible, minimize scarring, and properly prepare the area for any reconstructive surgery that may be needed.
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What Is The Difference Between Mohs Dermatologic Surgery And Plastic Surgery For My Skin Cancer
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with skin cancer, it is essential that you understand the role of different physicians in the treatment of skin cancer and your options.
Skin cancer may be diagnosed by any type of physician. This can be a clinical diagnosis where a spot looks suspicious or can be from a biopsy showing actual cancer cells.
Early, skin cancers, referred to as solar keratosis or actinic keratosis can be treated without excision by chemical destruction or freezing or shaving or even topical treatment with 5-Flourouracil. However, if a physician suspects a basal cell, squamous cell or melanoma, surgical excision is recommended. Heres were things can get confusing to patients.
A dermatologist may refer you to their colleague, a MOHS surgeon. These are dermatologists who spend an extra year in an office learning from other dermatologists how to remove skin cancers, interpret the pathology and even attempt to reconstruct the defect! They claim to only remove the actual cancer and not remove any non cancerous tissue, thereby performing minimally invasive procedures with low recurrence rates. Most of the MOHS then refer the patients back to the dermatologists, completing their symbiotic relationship.
Why Does The Incision Need To Be Larger Than The Skin Cancer
Skin cancer can be like an iceberg whats visible on the skin surface sometimes is only a small portion of the actual cancer. Beneath the skin, often there are cancerous cells that cover a much larger region and there are no defined borders. After y9our surgery, the removed tissue is microscopically examined by a pathologist to ensure all cancerous cells have been removed. The goal is to achieve a clear margin an area where the skin cancer has not spread. If clear margins are found, further excision might be required
Skin cancer reconstruction
The vast majority of skin cancers Dr Sharp removes, leave small incisions that are stitched back together in what we call a direct closure. This leaves a single line as a scar.
Skin cancers that are particularly large, or are located on specific parts of the body such as the nose or shin, can sometimes be difficult to close using the direct closure technique and in these circumstances, trying to bring the sides of the incisions together in one line can over stretch the wound, causing it to separate or cause disfigurement.
In this case, the wound might need to be reconstructed with a skin graft or flap.
Flaps enable Dr Sharp to follow the natural creases and curves of the face or body if possible, to minimise the obviousness of the resulting scar.
A skin graft is a thin bit of skin removed from one area of the body and relocated to the wound site.
Skin cancer removal recovery
Skin cancer removal results
The risks include: