Of all the cancers that humans can get, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. In the United States, skin cancer is increasing in all races. Although is it the most common type of cancer, it also the most preventable and treatable cancer. The cure rate of skin cancer is very high when detected and treated early.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, affecting more than a million people in the United States each year. Basel Cell Carcinoma may be caused by both cumulative and intense, intermittent sun exposure. This cancer often occurs in body areas that are exposed to the sun, such as the face, scalp, neck, hands, and arms. The cure rate is very high when detected and treated early.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer, caused by cumulative long-term sun exposure. This cancer often occurs in body areas that are exposed to the sun, such as an ear, face, bald scalp, neck, or arm. The cure rate is very high when detected and treated early. Without treatment, it can grow deeply. If this happens, the cancer can spread to other parts of the body.
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. Heredity can play a major role in melanoma, but the disease may often be triggered by intense, intermittent sun exposure. In the past several decades, as outdoor recreational activities have increased and fashions have left more skin exposed, melanoma incidence rates have more than tripled.
Fair-skinned people with light hair and eye color and people who have had sunburns or tend to burn easily are at increased risk of developing melanoma. People with large, unusually colored, and irregularly shaped moles are also at a higher risk. In its earliest stages, Melanoma is readily treatable. Left untreated, it can spread to vital organs, frequently becoming life-threatening.
ABCDE's of Skin Cancer
A change is often the first sign of melanoma; therefore, it is important to know where moles appear and what they look like. When diagnosed and treated before it spreads, melanoma has a high cure rate. Ask someone for help when checking your skin, especially in hard to see places. If you notice a mole different from others, or that changes, enlarges, itches, or bleeds (even if it is small), you should see a dermatologist.
One half unlike the other half.
or poorly defined border.
Varied from one area
to another; shades
of tan and brown, black; sometimes white, red or blue.
While melanomas are usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, they can
A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape, or color.
Treatment Options (not limited to):
+Mohs Micrographic Skin Cancer Surgery
The Mohs surgeon removes the cancer with a thin layer of tissue around it. The layer is checked thoroughly under a microscope. If cancer is still present in the surrounding tissue, the procedure is repeated until the last layer viewed is microscopically is cancer-free. This technique can save the greatest amount of healthy tissue and has the highest cure rate, 98% or better. It is often used for cancers that have recurred, are poorly demarcated, or are in critical areas around the eyes, nose, lips, and ears.
for Mohs Surgeons
to learn more about Mohs Micrographic Skin Cancer Surgery
Using a scalpel, the dermatologist removes the entire growth along with a surrounding border of apparently normal skin as a safety margin. The skin around the surgical site is closed with stitches, and the growth sent to a laboratory to verify that all cancerous cells have been removed. Cure rates are generally above 90%.
+Electrodessication and Curettage
The growth is scraped off with a curette (a sharp, ring-shaped instrument), and the cancer site desiccated with an electrocautery needle. The procedure, with similar cure rates to surgical excision, is repeated a few times to help assure that all cancer cells are eliminated. Local anesthesia is required. The technique may not be as useful for high risk or difficult sites.