When it comes to skin cancer, early detection plus prompt diagnosis and the right skin cancer treatment is the best combination for recovery. Although careful protection of your skin from the sun is the best prevention, skin cancer can also develop in areas of the skin that aren’t regularly exposed to sunlight. A thorough skin evaluation from our New York dermatology practice establishes the necessary baseline for patients to better gauge their skin health.
If you’re ready to learn more about skin cancer treatment and prevention, please don’t hesitate to contact us online today or call 212-535-3088. Dr. Michele S. Green, a board certified NYC dermatologist, practices the latest techniques at the forefront of skin cancer treatment to keep you healthy and whole.
As featured on TV with Dr. Max Gomez, Dr. Michele Green starts every visit with a skin cancer exam to save lives.
Skin cancer falls into three basic categories: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Understanding which type of skin cancer you have will better determine your course of treatment. Treating precancerous skin lesions is also part of a comprehensive skin cancer treatment plan.
An actinic keratosis is a scaly or crusty lesion that can sometimes go unnoticed. More than ten million Americans have actinic keratoses, making it the most common pre-cancer. Individuals who have a fair complexion and spend time in the sun are at a greater risk for developing actinic keratoses. If left untreated, these lesions can lead to a squamous cell carcinoma. Approximately ten percent of actinic keratoses advance to squamous cell carcinomas, and approximately forty to sixty percent of squamous cell carcinomas begin as an untreated actinic keratosis.
Once an actinic keratosis is identified, there are many treatment options, including topical medications and Photodynamic Therapy (PDT). Dr. Green will determine the severity of your lesions and choose the best method of treatment for your skin.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer with 700,000 new cases diagnosed each year. People who have a fair skin tone or who are out in the sun for long periods of the day have a higher chance of developing Squamous Cell Carcinoma during their lifetime. Recurrent use of tanning beds also puts one at risk to develop Squamous Cell Carcinoma; individuals that use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop Squamous Cell Carcinoma than individuals that don’t use tanning beds.
Various pre-cancers or pre-cancerous growths, such as the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), may evolve into Squamous Cell Carcinoma. If left untreated, Squamous Cell Carcinoma may spread to other organs and become deadly. Approximately 2,500 deaths a year are caused by untreated Squamous Cell Carcinomas. Early detection is important, and once identified, Squamous Cell Carcinoma is treatable. Dr. Green uses various methods to treat Squamous Cell Carcinomas including excisional surgery, electrodessication and Moh’s surgery.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common skin cancer that affects approximately two million people each year. The majority of cases of Basal Cell Carcinoma occur on areas of the skin that receive the most sun exposure, such as the face, neck, back or scalp. Even though Basal Cell Carcinoma rarely spreads to other organs it may harm surrounding tissue, which is why early detection and treatment are important. Early stages of Basal Cell Carcinoma are easily treated with various methods. When a Basal Cell Carcinoma is diagnosed by Dr. Green, treatment is either by excisional surgery, Moh’s surgery or electrodessication.
Moh’s surgery is one of the most popular ways to treat serious skin cancer. Moh’s surgery surgically removes carcinoma and minimizes the loss of healthy tissue. Once a layer of tissue is removed, it is examined under a microscope to determine whether or not cancerous cells remain in the tissue. When none of the cancerous cells are present, the procedure is over and the wound is closed. If there are still cancerous cells in the tissue sample, more tissue is removed and this will continue until the cancerous cells are no longer evident.
How to detect Melanoma Skin Cancer Early
It is critical to understand the ABCDEs of Melanoma:
A – Asymmetry: One half doesn’t match the appearance of the other half.
B – Border irregularity: The edges are uneven, notched, or blurred.
C – Color: The color or pigmentation is not uniform throughout. There are shades of tan, brown, or black or even blue, red, and white present.
D – Diameter: The size of the mole is greater than ¼ inch (6mm) which is about the size of a pencil’s eraser. There are melanomas which are first developing which are even smaller in size.
E – Evolution: There is a change in the size, shape, symptoms (such as itching or tenderness, or color of the mole, or surface (bleeding) of the mole.
If you notice any of these symptoms, please consult Dr. Michele Green for an examination of the mole and have a complete skin exam performed.
If you’re concerned about skin cancer, there’s a solution that can help. Contact us online today or call 212-535-3088 to learn more about Dr. Green’s comprehensive approach toward skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment.