Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. More than 1 million people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. There are more newly diagnosed skin cancer cases every year than other types of cancer including breast, lung, prostate, and colon, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Of those cases, there are 700,000 cases of squamous cell carcinoma and 2 million cases of basal-cell carcinoma. A person dies of melanoma every 57 minutes in the United States. At DermASAP, we know the statistics can be alarming. Rest assured we provide a highly specialized surgical treatment of skin cancer – Mohs micrographic surgery.
Mohs micrographic surgery leads as the most advanced treatment of skin cancer with the highest cure rate (99 percent). The precise surgical technique is highly sought after in our offices in Plymouth and Quincy; drawing men and women from Cape Cod and beyond. During the procedure, we gently remove a small sample layer of skin that is evaluated under a microscope. We will continue to remove tissue and its surrounding margins until the treatment area is cancer free. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. We can use the Mohs surgical technique to treat all of these types of cancer, as well as, others. With this safe and effective surgical treatment, we can help patients onto a path toward optimal health. However, when possible, we hope to help patients prevent skin cancer. We offer the following tips to patients:
- Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher when outdoors regardless of the weather.
- Avoid tanning beds. The ultraviolet rays are dangerous to the skin and overall health.
- Perform self-examinations at least monthly. Use a full-length mirror and carefully examine moles, freckles, blemishes, and any other marks on the body. If anything appears to be abnormal, such as a mole that has changed in size or color, contact our team to schedule an appointment with our board certified dermatologist.
- Schedule skin cancer screenings at least annually.
Types of Skin Cancer
The most common and least serious of all skin cancers is the basal cell carcinoma. These lesions usually grow slowly, and can appear as pearly, translucent papules, or as reddish or broken down sores on the skin.
Like other skin cancers, basal cell carcinomas tend to occur more often on sun-exposed parts of the skin, and are easily curable if treated properly.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer, and this too can appear as ulcerations or sores that do not heal, or as enlarging growths. Again, the majority of these skin cancers are very curable in the physician’s office.
Malignant melanoma is a cancer that can arise from a mole that has changed. Because this form of cancer has a greater tendency to spread, it is potentially more serious than the other forms of skin cancer, and prompt medical attention is needed to ensure a favorable outcome.
Most skin cancers can be treated in our office under local anesthesia with minimal discomfort or disfigurement with Mohs micrographic surgery. This is done in-office by, or under the direct supervision of Dr. Kenneth Reed, a board certified dermatologist trained in providing this highly successful surgery to remove cancerous skin tissue while keeping surrounding, healthy tissue intact.
If you have developed unusual changes in your skin, including changes in moles and skin tags, contact DermASAP today for a full skin screening and examination. This is often the first step to receiving an early diagnosis and undergoing the appropriate treatment for a high survival rate. With an examination and a biopsy, our team can help patients improve their health and their quality of life.