Skin Cancer TreatmentCoral Gables, FL
Since skin cancer diagnoses can vary widely per patient, it is crucial for people to understand their treatment options. Early detection and prompt treatment of skin cancer are vital to improving a patient’s prognosis. Do not hesitate to seek treatment if you have been diagnosed with skin cancer or experience concerning symptoms.
Skin cancer treatment is available at Dermbar MD in Coral Gables and the surrounding area. Our team will work with you to determine the right treatment options for your unique condition and diagnosis. Call us today at 305-230-4485 to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.
What To Know About Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. More than 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. Skin cancer is a disease in which malignant or cancerous cells form in the skin tissues.
Skin cancer begins in the epidermis or the outermost layer of the skin. It develops when damaged cells grow uncontrollably. Skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body but occurs most often in skin that faces frequent exposure to sunlight, such as the face, neck, and hands.
Types of Skin Cancer
The three major types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and melanomas. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas account for 95% of all skin cancers, but are highly curable when treated early. Basal cell carcinomas occur in the cells below the skin's surface and account for 80% of all cancer cases. Squamous cell carcinomas usually occur in the throat, digestive system’s lining, respiratory tract, liver, and kidney.
Melanoma is the most serious skin cancer type because it can spread rapidly to other organs without early treatment. Early detection and treatment are crucial to treatment success. Other less common types of cancer include Kaposi's sarcoma, Merkel cell carcinomas, and skin lymphoma.
Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer usually starts as a simple, painless spot, sore, or rash on the skin. A sore or rash that does not heal, changes color, or becomes irregular in shape may be a sign of skin cancer. Signs of basal cell carcinomas can appear on the head or neck as a pale patch of skin or a waxy bump. It can also appear as a brownish scar or flesh-colored lesion on the chest that may bleed, ooze, and crust over in some areas.
Squamous cell carcinomas can develop as a rough lump on the skin. The first signs of melanomas are changes in an existing mole or developing a new pigmented or unusual skin growth. We recommend having suspicious or fast-growing spots checked.
Skin Cancer Treatment
Treatment options for skin cancer will vary on the size, type, depth, and location of the lesions. Surgery can treat skin cancers that have not spread. Common surgical treatments include excision, Mohs surgery, and freezing. During excisional surgery, a scalpel cuts out the cancerous tissue and a border of healthy tissue. Mohs surgery involves progressively removing thin layers of cancer-containing skin and examining them until only cancer-free tissue remains. Freezing, or cryosurgery, may be beneficial for some small, early skin cancers by freezing them with liquid nitrogen, so the dead tissue falls off.
More aggressive forms of skin cancer can form tumors and require more extensive treatment. Such treatments include:
- Chemotherapy: This drug treatment uses powerful chemicals to kill cancer cells that grow and divide quickly.
- Immunotherapy: This treatment boosts a person’s immune system so it can find and attack cancer cells.
- Photodynamic therapy: This two-stage treatment utilizes chemicals called photosensitizers and light to kill cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy: During radiation therapy, beams of intense energy kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
After Skin Cancer Treatment
After skin cancer treatment, patients should take certain steps to improve their quality of life and smooth the transition into survivorship. This transition involves proper follow-up care and adopting a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. Beyond initial recovery, we encourage people recovering from skin cancer to follow established guidelines for good health.
These guidelines include not smoking, limiting alcohol, managing stress, and eating a balanced diet. Regular physical activity is also beneficial for rebuilding recovering patients’ strength and energy levels. Our team works with patients to develop personalized follow-up care plans.
Call Us Today
If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, do not hesitate to seek the treatment you need. We will help you make informed decisions about your care. Call us today at 305-230-4485 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is skin cancer diagnosed?
Diagnosing skin cancer usually begins with a visual examination. Upon detecting a suspicious spot, an examination of the area will occur to analyze the size, shape, color and texture, and any bleeding or scaling. Biopsies and imaging tests are two of the most common types of tests used in diagnosing skin cancer.
How can I reduce my risk of skin cancer?
People can reduce their risk of skin cancer by avoiding tanning and sunburns and never using UV tanning beds. When exposed to the sun, we recommend wearing sunscreen and covering up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. It is also important for people to examine their skin monthly and see our dermatologist for a professional skin exam.
What are the risk factors for skin cancer?
The main risk factor for skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet radiation. People who live in areas with a lot of sunlight, spend a lot of time outside, or using tanning beds are at greater risk of developing skin cancer. Additionally, people with fair skin, many moles, and a family history of skin cancer are also at higher risk.
How can I check myself for skin cancer?
People should take the time to examine their skin every month. From head to toe, people should check for new, irregular, or raised spots that have changed or grown since their last exam. It is also important to check between the fingers and toes and record any suspicious spots.
What causes skin cancer?
Skin cancers develop when damaged skin cells grow uncontrollably. Most skin cell damage results from exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds. Inherited DNA mutations and cell replication errors can also damage cells.
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