Skin Cancer & Treatments

Skin Cancer & Treatments 2018-05-28T11:44:19-05:00

Types of Skin Cancer

The most common types of skin cancer are:

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Malignant Melanoma

These cancers originate in the skin and if left untreated, can invade underlying tissue. Metastasis, which is the spread of cancer beyond the site of original growth, can follow in untreated cancers, especially malignant melanoma. Unlike other forms of cancer of the body, skin cancer, if identified early can be easily cured.

Signs of Skin Cancer:

If any of the following signs or symptoms occur, consult your dermatologist as soon as possible.

  • New growth on the skin, which does not disappear.
  • Any skin lesion that grows larger and turns brown, black, or multicolored.
  • Any open wound that persists and does not heal.
  • Any growth that continues to itch, hurt, bleeds, or crusts over.
  • A mole or birthmark that increases in size, changes color, or becomes irregular in shape.

Surgical Treatments of Skin Cancer:

1. Surgical excision:

  • Surgical removal with frozen section examination of tissue margins. The pathologist determines whether the cancer has been completely removed at the time of surgery.

2. Mohs Micrographic Surgery:

  • This is typically performed on areas where cosmetic appearance is especially important (head, face, neck). Specialized surgical techniques and frozen section examination of the tissue margins are performed to minimize the amount of tissue removed at surgery.

Non-surgical Treatment Regimens:

  • Electrodesiccation and curettage
  • Cryosurgery
  • Topical fluorouracil (5-FU)